Call Me By Your Name reviews

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:50 am

Sabin wrote:Also the way they create a false tension between Elio and Oliver during the first act such that they need a truce feels forced.



You are right, Sabin - the tension is false, but intentionally so. It's a defensive, instinctual reacton to the attraction that they feel for each other, and that they at first try to fight.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:16 am

Saw this film again. Again, came just shy of outright loving it. I think it languishes on the screen a bit too much and beats here and there could be cut, perhaps no more than two minutes. There are moments that ring out too obviously, like Oliver and Elio shouting out each other's names while vacationing (during the "Mystery of Love" montage). Also the way they create a false tension between Elio and Oliver during the first act such that they need a truce feels forced.

But a few things came more into focus. Guadagnino's use of music is inspired, always a stylistic choice and never a cudgel. I really do think there is only one Sufjan Stevens song that belonged in this film and it is "Visions of Gideon" at the end. Armie Hammer's performance opened up as well. He's quite good. As Marco says, he is playing an idealized version of a first love but there's dimension to him. He's resigned to what his life is so when he hears familiar music in the distance, he can't help but seek out who's playing his song. It seems he's that way with opportunities for love as well. Owen Gleiberman writes: "Oliver, sensual and liberated yet finally compartmentalized, is an archangel of erotic mystery who swoops down to tap Elio on the shoulder and bring him to life." I agree, and what the filmmakers are doing is tricky. This is a film about Elio's awakening while also being about Oliver's status quo. It strikes a few bum notes along the way but it's very good.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Uri » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:30 am

To illustrate that the lovers calling each other by the other person's name is an indication of a time of not speaking openly and freely, of beating around the bush (well... they actually do it in CMBYN) as if not using concrete terms is like not fully admitting stuff had happened, let me bring up a very similar, yet vastly different exchange from God's Own Counry. Instead of Oliver-Elio-Oliver-Elio (or Johnny-Gheorghe-Johnny-Gheorghe), we have freak-fagot-get off-fagot. It is used - and repeated - in a very similar way as the Oliver-Elio bit. Beyond all the caltural and sociological distinctions, it's about the ability of the latter, current day couple (and the film they're in) to fully accept who they are and what they do as opposed to a scenario which occurs three decades earlier.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Greg » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:17 pm

flipp525 wrote:Like the beautiful actresses who have had to get ugly in order to finally be rewarded with Oscar attention, Hammer will most likely have to do the same (for the benefit of the Academy and some denizens of the UAADB).


For some reason, I'd like to see him do a Karl Marx biopic.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby danfrank » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:41 pm

I don't think I've reduced Hammer to just a pretty face (he's not my type at all), though because of his "Ken Doll" looks I'm sure he's held to a different standard, perhaps including by me unconsciously. His good looks are an asset to the role, actually, mirroring those gorgeous Greek gods he was studying and making it apparent why Elio would fall so readily in love with him. I thought he was fine in the role, actually, just not at an award-worthy level. Hammer played cocky quite well, and tender pretty well, but I would like to have had more of a sense of the internal conflicts he must have had, not the least of which is his own sexuality. There could have been a few more hints of the character's vulnerability to make him more relatable. I will watch the film again to see if perhaps I missed something.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:31 pm

Sure, Hammer has played some roles of dubious quality, but he was the best thing about J. Edgar (not necessarily a selling point) and he was surprisingly effective in the adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I see in him the same I once saw in Ryan Reynolds or Jake Gyllenhaal, the potential to be something so much more than a pretty face.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:22 pm

He did well what he had to do - playing an idealized version of anyone's "first love", the embodiment of the young hero's desires - of his sexual, romantic and obviously even aesthetic desires and aspirations. Even just doing that while at the same time being believable and human is, I think, a good result, though not necessarily one worthy of an Oscar nomination. A backstory isn't always needed, and sometimes being elusive, open to interpretation, is more challenging. Hammer is a good actor; I'm sure that his choice of unconventional, unusual material will soon get him Oscar recognition.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:04 pm

I don’t think that Armie Hammer just Ken Doll’d his way through the role. He was lively and joyful at points where he needed to be (his awkward ‘80s dancing was very endearing) and I thought that he inhabited the character of Oliver with a nice mix of reticence and confidence. It’s certainly not the easiest role to play. And I don’t think his stage direction was just “go over there and look pretty in the Italian sunlight.” He did much more than that. Was it the most challenging role in the film? No, obviously not. But this need to reduce him to just a pretty face who was well lit and clothed scantily is, well, an interesting one, let’s just say.

Like the beautiful actresses who have had to get ugly in order to finally be rewarded with Oscar attention, Hammer will most likely have to do the same (for the benefit of the Academy and some denizens of the UAADB).
Last edited by flipp525 on Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Uri » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:16 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Strange, I got plenty of Oliver's backstory out of Hammer's performance.


But is it really his performance, or is it him (and what he represents) being cast in that role?

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:09 am

Strange, I got plenty of Oliver's backstory out of Hammer's performance.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby danfrank » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:50 am

flipp525 wrote:I could see Armie Hammer getting a "make-up" nomination in support next year for On the Basis of Sex. I'm sure he was 6th or 7th place this year.

Possibly, but I know far too many people who think that Hammer was the weak link in Call Me by Your Name. Though I personally loved the film, I would not have nominated him. Stuhlbarg, yes. Hammer, no. I got very little sense of the interior of this character from Hammer.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:11 am

flipp525 wrote:I could see Armie Hammer getting a "make-up" nomination in support next year for On the Basis of Sex. I'm sure he was 6th or 7th place this year.


Directed by Mimi Leder. I was only thinking about her the other day and wondering what has she been doing. I quick check of imdb revealed mainly TV. I have a soft spot for Deep Impact - a big old fashioned disaster epic that was superior in every way to Michael Bay's Armageddon which came out the same year.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby flipp525 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:55 pm

I could see Armie Hammer getting a "make-up" nomination in support next year for On the Basis of Sex. I'm sure he was 6th or 7th place this year.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:17 am

Uri wrote:
It's 1983, and it's still "the love that dare not speak its name" - which the title of this film is a kind of a reference to. There's a seemingly frank conversation between the three male characters about the possibility of Elio having sex with a girl (which is very obviously a coded one), but same sex/love is never explicitly discussed - the celebrated late monologue by the father is all about not using any concrete terms. And even the notion of calling your lover by your name - yes, it's about intimacy, about becoming "one" - but it's also about turning the act of sex/love between two men (this exchange of names is not applyable to heterosexual couple, it seems) into something which is too intimate, almost masturbatory, therefore able not to be named for what it really is.



This isn't wrong. Back then, you didn't talk much about it - probably a defensive attitude, but also there wasn't much to talk about (civil rights were still to come and be discussed, and sadly the words most people used were derogarory ones). So you just lived it, without giving it a name. But no, Uri, it wasn't masturbatory. Not at all, trust me. There are many ways to communicate, and other languages than the one brain and words express. It was actually even more intense, at times, precisely because you didn't use brain and words. It's better today, I know - yet, from the point of view of communication... well, let's just say that I'm not sure that more communication means better communication. Not always. :)

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:09 am

OscarGuy wrote:In the 1980s, especially in the United States, finding gay relationships was an incredible challenge, especially if you did not live in a major metropolitan area. People were still being beaten and killed for being gay, especially in rural areas. And in Europe, where the climate was slightly more accepting, but nowhere near as open as it would be today, finding a kindred soul would be a surprising development. I think in that respect, Call Me by Your Name would not have the same tone or edge of tension that it would set today.

First of all, youngsters are exposed to and open to others who are like them. It's no longer a dangerous challenge to seek out someone who is also gay. Thereby, I don't think someone of Elio's age would be as concerned about being true to himself, especially growing up in any kind of Academic environment like the one his father works in. Oliver, also being part of Academia, would also be exposed to plenty of opportunities for exploration and commitment and finding a kindred spirit would be far less likely. He would not feel the need to explore himself in the same way Oliver does in this film nor would Elio. They would be wholly different experiences in a film set today than they would in a film set in the early 1980s as this one is.


Exactly.

Call Me By Your Name may not be perfect, but I can tell you that the way it portrays the emotional condition of falling in love with another guy in the early 80s is very correct.

There's one aspect which I must point out though. Back then, at least in Europe, finding a "kindred soul" was already a possibility, especially in big cities, and it COULD happen. And when it happened, it usually lasted for long - longer than it would today. Because - simply - you didn't have the alternatives you'd have today, when technology seems to give us plenty of opportunities, and you feel that there's always "someone better" waiting for us just a click away. It is, of course, an illusion - but contemporary gay (and straight) life often likes to believe it.

So when I was 18 - one year older than Elio in the movie, and only a few years later than 1983 - and I had moved to Rome to study Screenwriting at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, I met and fell in love with a boy of my same age. And we were together for more than 10 years. Without, let's say, alternative distractions. The passion, the feeling of having found something unique, exceptional and irreplaceable, of being the luckiest person in the world, of having such a rare opportunity that I should never give up... Well, I know for sure that it would have been different if it had happened today.
Last edited by ITALIANO on Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.


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