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“Call Me By Your Name” is one of the year’s great love stories

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Hope you all are enjoying your turkey and political arguments with that uncle who disagrees with every ideology of yours. Anyway, once food is over, film should be at the forefront of your mind, especially considering how great the slate right now is. Opening on Friday is one of the year’s most praised bits of cinema in Call Me By Your Name. It has been gaining fans ever since the 2017 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, running right up to earlier this week’s Film Independent Spirit Award nominations. Now, the viewing public can finally see what the fuss is all about. With few exceptions, it seems poised to live up to the hype.

The movie is a coming of age story as well as a romance. Set during 1983 in Northern Italy, we follow the Perlman family, expats from America. There’s seventeen year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet), who is fascinated by the visiting Oliver (Armie Hammer), a research assistant for his professor father (Michael Stuhlbarg). Elio and Oliver are initially friends, sharing a Jewish heritage in a place where that’s uncommon, as well as an appreciation or laying around the Italian countryside. However, they both begin to bong over Elio’s emerging sexuality as well. From there, unexpected feelings emerge. Suffice to say though, both of their lives will be different from that point on. Luca Guadagnino directs the adaptation of André Aciman’s novel, which James Ivory penned the screenplay for. Also in the cast, we have Vanda Capriolo, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and more. Gorgeous cinematography is provided by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom.

Without question, the performances drive this flick and make it what it ends up being. Chalamet is a revelation, while Hammer continues to show why he’s among the more charismatic actors in the business. Plus, there’s Stuhlbarg, who provides the emotional coda of the film with a speech at the end that will bring down the house. Chalamet could be the rare young male lead to actually be cited in Best Actor. Throw in the visuals that Guadagnino captures and we had a beautiful movie, to say the least. You might be able to make the case that it has been slightly overpraised, but even if that’s the case, that just means that this film is very good to great, instead of amazing. Any way you slice it, it’s going to be one of the bigger players during the precursors.

Call Me By Your Name is poised to do pretty well this awards season. Oscar should undoubtedly take notice. Campaigns will be launched in Best Picture, Best Director (for Guadagnino), Best Actor (for Chalamet), Best Supporting Actor (for Hammer and Stuhlbarg), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Ivory), Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. Right now, a nomination in Picture seems likely, while Ivory is the frontrunner to take home the Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay. Hammer is the likelier Supporting Actor nominee, while everything else is up in the air. Suffice to say though, the flick is going to get cited by voters in multiple categories.

Starting tomorrow, audiences looking for another great love story can experience Call Me By Your Name. Whether at Sundance, the New York Film Festival, or now at your local art house theater, the movie is gaining fans left and right, so give it a look for yourself as soon as possible. It’ll be rolling out on a wider basis over the course of the next few weeks, right into the heart of the awards season. Sure to be one of the more beloved independent releases of 2017, you should take a look at it once it opens at a theater near you. If you’re a romantic, it’ll undoubtedly move you…

Be sure to check out Call Me By Your Name, in theaters starting tomorrow. Also, once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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