Call Me By Your Name reviews

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Precious Doll
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:14 am

CalWilliam wrote:
I always like reading whatever you have to say about anything, and I’m glad your overall view of the film is good. Could you mention some of other those “summer of discoveries” titles? Not the obvious ones, of course, but some more obscure films that are worth discovering or mean something to you. You know, I’m a 25 young gay man, and my response to this film has been very emotional. I’m also a European, so it’s always very exhilarating for me to read your balanced and clear-headed points of view, which I share and understand.


Whilst not a 'summer of discoveries" Andre Techine's Being 17 (2016) is highly recommended - deals with a number of contemporary issues. Great story telling, beautifully acted by the cast and with a great sense of place. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4331970/reference

Tomboy (2011) first film by Celine Sciamma (who also wrote Being 17) the characters in this French gem are much younger, and girls but it's absolutely lovely http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1847731/reference

Another Andre Techine film, one of his very best from 1993 Les Roseau Savage (Wild Reeds). Was hugely successful back in it's day and given it's setting, France early 1963's, also very political. Simply hypnotic http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111019/reference

I'm sure Marco and others will have more titles to contribute. If anymore come to mind I'll post them.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby CalWilliam » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:57 am

ITALIANO wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:(Were this movie taking place in 2017, obviously certain elements would be different, but I'd honestly find it a lot less believable that a guy like Oliver would fall for Elio at all.)



Why..? :D

I don't have time to reply to any single absurdity which this thread is full of. You guys should get a life soon :) Just let me say that of course Precious Doll is right - each of us is attracted to different types, and while I personally wouldn't be interested in either Elio AND OLIVER, I accept and understand that one can find attractive a slim - but by the way not ugly - 17-year-old person. That's the beauty of life - just accept it, or you will really miss alot. I don't see why today such a relationship would be impossible... In America, maybe, where political correctness has killed any spontaneity. You need a holiday, Original BJ - or you simply watch too many movies. Come to Europe :wink: (As for Uri's complicated explanation of Oliver's attraction to Elio, it must be read to be believed).

Now. the movie. For once I find it difficult to be completely objective - the boy is just a few years older than I was in 1983, the film was shot in and around my city (one crucial scene even right outside my old school), and there are other aspects that I can easily - too easily - relate to (for example the boy's parents - while probably even more open-minded than mine were in the 80s - in many ways, the mother also physically, reminded me of MY parents). The movie has brought me back to those long summers when I was a teenager - summers when nothing seemed to happen except riding bycicles and swimming in lakes, yet, of course, EVERYTHING actually happened. Those hot, endless summers seemed so boring back then - we were anxiously waiting for adulthood, independency, etc - and now they don't exist anymore, and at times we miss them terribly.
The pains, torments, and passions of adolescence - especially, and in this case there IS a difference between then and today, when falling in love with someone of your same sex - are also VERY believable. It was, back then, a slower process than it's probably today, a process full of silences, innuendoes and - I can't deny it - guilty feelings. And - but I repeat that I won't reply to the absurdities - often you DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW MUCH abput the object of your love. Living that moment was the essence. Today's teenagers are certainly more confortable than we were - society (at least in the Western world) and the web are there to support them
Still - and this is what I found interesting watching the movie - there were also positive aspects about growing up in that period, and I realized that even the pain, the doubts, etc, - well, they kind-of had a certain charm, and certainly made life interesting. In a way, the movie has made me miss that, too - which, as a stable, way less emotional 40-something-year-old man, I didn't expect to. :wink:

But a movie has to be judged rationally, too. So. The portrayal of Lombardy (the region I live in) in the 80s is very accurate - right up to the political posters on the city's walls. The cars (including the license plates), the clothes, the music, the magazines sold in the newstands... everything is spot-on (this isn't All The Money in the World). And, again, I appreciated how slow and detailed the movie's portrayal of the central relationship is.
But - in this case Uri is right - the movie may seem less original in Europe than it's pervceived to be in the US. There have been many, many movies here about those fateful summers of discoveries and growing up - it is admittedly a genre unto itself. The language may be Italian, French, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, etc, the sex may be straight or gay or both - but let's face it, it has been done before, sometimes even better than here (but often worse, too).
And while there are scenes that I admired - for the tenderness, the sublety even, others - the sex ones especially - seemed a bit reticent /the camera discreetly turning to the window and the trees outside was, well... come on...). In a way, one can find this sort-of "modesty" affecting, even poetic, still from a purely emotional point of view I find Guadagnino's approach (here and in other movies) strangely frigid - and while frigidness is a psychological trait that I can't condemn, if it's adopted for commercial reasons - or, simply, to get a better reception in the US - it's probably a bit less honest.
But the movie in general IS honest. And the acting is, too. Thimotee Chalamet's last, long close-up is one of the best in recent memory. Is his a great performance? Maybe not, and obviously not an expert one - but it's so natural, so unshowy, so rich in details, that, great or not, it might be much better than the one which will finally get the Oscar.


I always like reading whatever you have to say about anything, and I’m glad your overall view of the film is good. Could you mention some of other those “summer of discoveries” titles? Not the obvious ones, of course, but some more obscure films that are worth discovering or mean something to you. You know, I’m a 25 young gay man, and my response to this film has been very emotional. I’m also a European, so it’s always very exhilarating for me to read your balanced and clear-headed points of view, which I share and understand.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light". - Dylan Thomas

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:51 am

The Original BJ wrote:(Were this movie taking place in 2017, obviously certain elements would be different, but I'd honestly find it a lot less believable that a guy like Oliver would fall for Elio at all.)



Why..? :D

I don't have time to reply to any single absurdity which this thread is full of. You guys should get a life soon :) Just let me say that of course Precious Doll is right - each of us is attracted to different types, and while I personally wouldn't be interested in either Elio AND OLIVER, I accept and understand that one can find attractive a slim - but by the way not ugly - 17-year-old person. That's the beauty of life - just accept it, or you will really miss alot. I don't see why today such a relationship would be impossible... In America, maybe, where political correctness has killed any spontaneity. You need a holiday, Original BJ - or you simply watch too many movies. Come to Europe :wink: (As for Uri's complicated explanation of Oliver's attraction to Elio, it must be read to be believed).

Now. the movie. For once I find it difficult to be completely objective - the boy is just a few years older than I was in 1983, the film was shot in and around my city (one crucial scene even right outside my old school), and there are other aspects that I can easily - too easily - relate to (for example the boy's parents - while probably even more open-minded than mine were in the 80s - in many ways, the mother also physically, reminded me of MY parents). The movie has brought me back to those long summers when I was a teenager - summers when nothing seemed to happen except riding bycicles and swimming in lakes, yet, of course, EVERYTHING actually happened. Those hot, endless summers seemed so boring back then - we were anxiously waiting for adulthood, independency, etc - and now they don't exist anymore, and at times we miss them terribly.
The pains, torments, and passions of adolescence - especially, and in this case there IS a difference between then and today, when falling in love with someone of your same sex - are also VERY believable. It was, back then, a slower process than it's probably today, a process full of silences, innuendoes and - I can't deny it - guilty feelings. And - but I repeat that I won't reply to the absurdities - often you DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW MUCH abput the object of your love. Living that moment was the essence. Today's teenagers are certainly more confortable than we were - society (at least in the Western world) and the web are there to support them
Still - and this is what I found interesting watching the movie - there were also positive aspects about growing up in that period, and I realized that even the pain, the doubts, etc, - well, they kind-of had a certain charm, and certainly made life interesting. In a way, the movie has made me miss that, too - which, as a stable, way less emotional 40-something-year-old man, I didn't expect to. :wink:

But a movie has to be judged rationally, too. So. The portrayal of Lombardy (the region I live in) in the 80s is very accurate - right up to the political posters on the city's walls. The cars (including the license plates), the clothes, the music, the magazines sold in the newstands... everything is spot-on (this isn't All The Money in the World). And, again, I appreciated how slow and detailed the movie's portrayal of the central relationship is.
But - in this case Uri is right - the movie may seem less original in Europe than it's pervceived to be in the US. There have been many, many movies here about those fateful summers of discoveries and growing up - it is admittedly a genre unto itself. The language may be Italian, French, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, etc, the sex may be straight or gay or both - but let's face it, it has been done before, sometimes even better than here (but often worse, too).
And while there are scenes that I admired - for the tenderness, the sublety even, others - the sex ones especially - seemed a bit reticent /the camera discreetly turning to the window and the trees outside was, well... come on...). In a way, one can find this sort-of "modesty" affecting, even poetic, still from a purely emotional point of view I find Guadagnino's approach (here and in other movies) strangely frigid - and while frigidness is a psychological trait that I can't condemn, if it's adopted for commercial reasons - or, simply, to get a better reception in the US - it's probably a bit less honest.
But the movie in general IS honest. And the acting is, too. Thimotee Chalamet's last, long close-up is one of the best in recent memory. Is his a great performance? Maybe not, and obviously not an expert one - but it's so natural, so unshowy, so rich in details, that, great or not, it might be much better than the one which will finally get the Oscar.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby CalWilliam » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:01 pm

My God, I loved this film so much. I have nothing of interest to say but a few subjective remarks. It was just a landmark experience to behold, a deeply moving and intellectual one. I have read the novel, and James Ivory has definitely improved it. What an extraordinary, exquisite screenplay. It’s amazing this was written by an almost 90 year old man. For me it stands as a celebration of self-discovery, culture and nature, within the frame of a deeply exhilarating and enthusiastic family interaction. Impossible not to cry with their hug at the train station, with Stuhlbarg’s eyes during his monologue, or with Chalamet’s last shot.

One of my dearest films of my lifetime. I’m really interested to read Marco’s opinion on this movie.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:41 pm

As someone who HAS read the book, there was nothing overtly explicit to necessarily indicate the father being closeted. In the book, he also says, "I may have come close but I never had what you had." That could be interpreted in many different ways. The scene with the statue slides wasn't in the book.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:45 pm

Mister Tee wrote
Now, it's possible the novel was more explicit on this issue, or it's possible I (along with BJ) am being naive/obtuse, but I saw nothing in the film that definitively characterizes Stuhlbarg's character as closeted.

There’s a scene where Stuhlbarg is looking at slides of male statutes with Hammer, he remarks on the beauty of their bodies, and Hammer gives him a look.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:01 pm

Amending my statement: Oliver felt to me like a sketch, not Elio.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Yeah, to me, Elio is far more than a sketch -- maybe only because of Chalamet's performance, but I felt I knew a lot about him.

Let me be one of the few to here to back BJ's take. I didn't get that Stuhlbarg's monologue was necessarily intimating a gay past; to me, it was regret about a missed grand passion, which could have been of either gender (there are a lot of reasons why people pass on the chance at such a thing, not all orientation-related). Now, it's possible the novel was more explicit on this issue, or it's possible I (along with BJ) am being naive/obtuse, but I saw nothing in the film that definitively characterizes Stuhlbarg's character as closeted.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby flipp525 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:51 pm

I think the only hard facts of a backstory we get of Oliver are two: he felt like the only Jewish guy in his New England town while growing up and he saw the Psychedelic Furs once in concert.

I’m not one who needs to have every single question answered or an elaborate backstory all the time. But, yes, the performance should telegraph the backstory if it’s not on the page. Lesley Manville and Daniel Day-Lewis do this brilliantly in a Phantom Thread where you aren’t really given a huge number of facts about their sibling history (I think there’s just one memory shared by Reynolds about them as children). They are able to telegraph the essence of their relationship in several key scenes without history-filled dialogue, easily answering questions about this or that for the audience.

That said, I think Armie Hammer does this at points in the film. His consciously guarded nature with Elio in the beginning (he’s seemingly making an advance with the out-in-the-open massage at one point to test the waters but, stand-offish at times initially) seemed very familiar to me as a way that gay men initially act “turned off” or uninterested in someone they are interested in, namely because - quite simply - we sometimes don’t know if a guy is gay or not and don’t want to make a mistake of hitting on a straight guy. It’s a protective gesture and something that made a lot of sense to me. It telegraphed to me the idea that Oliver might have been rebuffed in the past or could have overstepped. Sometimes the performance can be “read” like this in order to discover some of the character’s backstory when it’s not served up in dialogue or flashback.

I can understand some of the inscrutable aspects of the characters that other posters have acknowledged. I wouldn’t go so far as to refer to them as “sketches” though. I couldn’t call a performance as warmly inhabited as Chalamet’s a sketch. Also, looking back at some of my original thoughts about the movie contained in this thread, at the time, I described Hammer’s performance as “lived-in.”

I agree that Stuhlbarg’s story could be interpreted in a couple different ways. He has one of the best acted scenes out of any movie this year so I think it would be a shame for him to get left off when nominations are announced, although I’m fully prepared for it.
Last edited by flipp525 on Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Uri » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:32 pm

Sabin wrote:
Uri wrote
Elio is the most obvious, surprisingly available complicit for him to play on this primal fascination/attraction.

Reading this, all I can say is that’s a very interesting idea that wasn’t at all apparent to me while watching the film. Although perhaps more of the fault lies in Armie Hammer. I certainly didn’t get a sense of who he was before the film began. He is a perfect choice if the intent was to make Oliver something of a fantasy creation. But there isn’t much inner-life, and to be honest it doesn’t seem like there’s much to the actor either. Perhaps that’s why he was so perfectly cast in ‘The Social Network.’


I agree with you that Hammer doesn't bring much more than his actual, physical presence to the table, but there is enough in that kind of cliche of a Nordic God, especially when presented to us opposite Chalamet's (and Stuhlbarg's) physicality to suggest a lot of cultural, historical, psychological, sexual - you name it - baggage.

And another bit that slipped my mind - Oliver chooses to present himself in this particular surrounding as somewhat jewish (he's wearing a star of David) - is it true, hence the initial attraction? Is it a kind of false device he uses to allure this family? It could be read either ways, but yes, Hammer doesn't offer us much help.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:33 pm

Uri wrote
Elio is the most obvious, surprisingly available complicit for him to play on this primal fascination/attraction.

Reading this, all I can say is that’s a very interesting idea that wasn’t at all apparent to me while watching the film. Although perhaps more of the fault lies in Armie Hammer. I certainly didn’t get a sense of who he was before the film began. He is a perfect choice if the intent was to make Oliver something of a fantasy creation. But there isn’t much inner-life, and to be honest it doesn’t seem like there’s much to the actor either. Perhaps that’s why he was so perfectly cast in ‘The Social Network.’

The Original BJ wrote
There are things you have to imagine Elio would be curious to know about Oliver -- have you done this before? how often? -- but the film doesn't really explore them, and those answers might have provided a bit more insight into Hammer's character.

Nailed it. That’s what I’m missing. At the start of every relationship, young or old, there’s a joy in learning “Who are you?” That’s missing entirely. As such, neither character becomes more than a sketch. But they’re sketches set to lovely music, mood, and scenary.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Uri » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:20 am

The Original BJ wrote:I think one thing that could have been clarified to assuage Sabin's issue is more exploration of what Oliver sees in Elio (i.e. what this hunk sees in this little boy, because that's definitely what it plays like.) There's a degree to which the answer is implicit in the era -- I imagine Oliver's degree of outness in his own life is pretty minimal, and perhaps even his own same-sex encounters might be pretty few in number, so stumbling on Elio is a special find for him. There are things you have to imagine Elio would be curious to know about Oliver -- have you done this before? how often? -- but the film doesn't really explore them, and those answers might have provided a bit more insight into Hammer's character. (Were this movie taking place in 2017, obviously certain elements would be different, but I'd honestly find it a lot less believable that a guy like Oliver would fall for Elio at all.)


More than Oliver was attracted to Elio, he was attracted to the ambiance of the kind of exitance Elio’s family led. We don’t get any concrete information about Oliver’s background in CMBYN, but we all saw The Social Network. Kidding aside, it’s obvious he comes from a privileged, waspish background, with a rather concrete set of rules and expectations and here he’s encountered with this free-thinking, cosmopolite, very inclusive Jewish family and the setting in which it resides, with all its members seem to send him sexual vibes - closeted father, budding gay son and (sexually unfulfilled?) mother are all smitten with him. And the notion the Jews are sexually fluid is a rather old anti-Semitic notion – that Arian ethos is masculine, the Jewish is feminine. It seems rather inevetable to me that Oliver may have these notion as an inherent part of his cultural foundations, his subconscious. Elio is the most obvious, surprisingly available complicit for him to play on this primal fascination/attraction.

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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:00 am

I got the subtle impression that Stuhlbarg might have been talking about himself and the boy that got away, hence his recognition of the situation. It could also be that he's bisexual and because of societal standards, he was forced to settle down with a woman, whom he loves, even though he once had a tryst of his own that might have led somewhere different.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:42 am

I absolutely thought that Michael Stuhlbarg was talking about being closeted.
Last edited by Sabin on Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Call Me By Your Name reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:34 am

The Original BJ wrote:
Did other folks interpret Stuhlbarg's monologue the way Uri did -- that he's a closet case? It does seem like it would be open to interpretation -- the character's words are pretty vague -- but that wasn't necessarily my takeaway from his comments about not being able to embrace certain moments from earlier in his life.


Wasn't sure. He may have been referring to a woman he didn't go further with.

As are as Oliver's attraction to Elio, beauty and attraction are in the eye of the beholder. Just because Oliver is a 'hunk' doesn't for one minute mean he can't be attracted to Elio. Whilst the film didn't give us Olivers motivations, as the film is from Elio's point of view, simple attraction and lust are enough reason.

It's also got to do with what a person is like on the inside because ultimately that is what really matters. That is what guides most meaningful relationships between people.
Last edited by Precious Doll on Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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