Call Me by Your Name offers a sad but powerful portrait of first love. However, I’m not sure it deserved all the buzz it generated back in 2017.
As a package, the movie is good, but a bit overrated. Yes, Chalamet’s performance is magnificent – this is the sort of performance that stretches across a lifetime. Yes, It’s a teenage gay love story in old 1980s Italy. But was it worth the buzz and Academy Awards nominations? I don’t think so.
The story is great, the actors are superbly convincing, yet the movie felt forgettable for me, less than a day after I’ve seen it. Truth is, I expect Oscar worth movies to leave an impression, any kind of impressions. This one didn’t. In addition, the movie contributes little to the urgent contemporary project of diversifying representation.
Maybe the only lasting impression from Call Me By Your Name is the introduction of Timothée Chalamet as a serious actor, and it being the last good movie by Armie Hammer, even though I wasn’t impressed by his acting.
However, the director’s use of location is too good to be true and will likely make you want to book at trip to Italy immediately (Wait for the pandemic to slow down).
Should you watch it?
Maybe. The movie is a good gay love story in 1980s Italy between a teenage and what’s obviously a man who’s over 30 years old. Acting is great, but the movie doesn’t leave any lasting impressions. It’s a decent boy-meets-boy romance.