CALL ME BY YOUR NAME – Sundance Review

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Finally, a movie worthy of all glowing adjectives in the dictionary. My entire 24th birthday was largely overshadowed by the fact I coincidentally saw Luca Guadagnino’s tour-de-force masterpiece Call Me By Your Name that same very night, and it will probably remain one of the best and most gratifying birthday gifts anyone will give me for the rest of my life. I do not even remember the day being much about me looking back, but the ethereal feeling I had sitting in the second row of the Eccles theater and watching the minutes fly by of such a dizzying, joyous and emotionally perceptive romance. Not a day goes by since that Sundance do I not think back to the night, still swaying to the compatibly sensual harmonious melodies from The Psychedelic Furs and Sufjan Stevens, just for that little glaring emotional reminder of what I felt then, and to further retain the ever-lasting lasting spell the movie has had cast over me since.

Call Me By Your Name is bold in its execution and directorial choices, relaxed as the ever-featured sun-soaked Italian sun, devastating by design of its vivid romance, brave in exploration of the feelings of lust, intimacy and being struck by love for the first time. As well as, sprawling in its celebration of feeling, hope, loss and all there is to live for. It is just one of the most sensually illustrious pieces of cinema that I have witnessed in my lifetime. There are not enough complements in this world I could give to the triad of performances featured within the film, but I do not remember the last time a breakthrough performance has struck me so deeply. The central lead performance, Ellio, played by indie cinema’s next big thing Timothee Chamalet is a cinematic revelation. Sexuality is both confusing by design and privately held within one’s psyche and Chamalet perfectly captures this, barring witness the formation of one’s own personal identity. We share his adolescent fascination and restless desire for Oliver, the emotional undercurrents of discovering the difference between love and youthful curiosity, and the stakes of engaging in physical intimacy for the first time. The performance is pure majesty, already to become a staple of the coming-of-age genre, and features an all-timer closing shot stare by Chamalet that says more about the emotional complexities of love and mortality than any spoken words of dialogue could ever say. It is a performance that is pure and sensitive as they come, formerly radiating and carefully measured, and one I will never forget. I got to be honest though, I have been reluctant to talk about Call Me By Your Name in much depth since seeing it, because written words do not do a movie like this justice. It is all about the experience of watching something something so wholly unique, beautiful and resonating. Call Me By Your Name is one of those rare movies that makes you feel lucky to run alive in this crazy messed up world, and I just can’t wait for the rest of you all to see it too. [A+]

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