February 28, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Call It a Deeply Felt Movie

By Nick Boyd

“Call Me by Your Name,” a gorgeously shot film that takes place in Italy in 1983, is about the growing bond between Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer).

Elio is a 17-year-old American teenager living in Italy with his parents at their villa over the summer. He is very intellectual and gifted, reading high-brow books, playing musical compositions, and conversing in three languages.

One day, a graduate student named Oliver arrives to stay at the Perlman’s villa to do research with Elio’s father, who is a professor of archeology. Soon after his arrival, Elio is drawn to Oliver on a sensual level. A scene outside where Elio is watching Oliver play volleyball reveals the initial stages of what will transform into a mutual attraction. What complicates things is that Elio also has sexual feelings (it seems) for some teenage girls in town, who likewise are attracted to him. His sexual identity fluctuates at times, as he attempts to come to terms with his desires.

Given that their romance is a same-sex one and Oliver is a guest at the Perlman’s residence, Elio and Oliver try to be discreet about their burgeoning relationship. As depicted, the love that they share is tender and not exploitative, despite the age difference. The yearning and affection they feel for each other is palpable. In the quiet moments they are able to have together, they are vulnerable with each other.

The film is leisurely paced and lets the audience soak in the picturesque European backdrop. A summer day in the Italian countryside for these two young lovers is one to cherish and enjoy.

Both Chalamet and Hammer give remarkable performances that are raw and powerful, while Michael Stuhlbarg as Elio’s father, provides an understated performance of warmth and compassion. A speech that Stuhlbarg delivers late in the movie is one of the most emotional and poignant I have heard in recent memory.

When it comes time for the two to part ways at the end of Oliver’s stay, it is apparent just how much their time together has meant for each of them on a deeply emotional level.

The picture, which is in English, Italian, and French, has a subtlety to it in what is left unsaid in characters’ gestures and behaviors. Filled with rich emotional layers, the film captures with much insight what it means to be at emotional crossroads. The ending of the movie, which focuses just on Elio’s face, is heartbreaking, and Chalamet with no dialogue, wonderfully shows what Elio is feeling. One of the best films I have seen in the last year, this is one I will not easily forget.

A still from the beautifully-composed film.
Photo courtesy of “Call Me by Your Name”.
Related Posts

S.M.a.r.t Column: Gelson’s Looms Large

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Our guest column this week is by SMCLC (the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City). SMCLC is a well-established...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Top Toady Town

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

Throughout history, from the ancient Romans and Assyrians to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, siege warfare has served as an...

S.M.a.r.t Column: The Sunset of Home Ownership

February 11, 2024

February 11, 2024

We are watching the sunset of our historical and cultural American dream of home ownership as we now are crossing...

SMa.r.t. Column: B(U)Y RIGHT

February 4, 2024

February 4, 2024

“By Right” state housing laws that give developers, in certain projects, the ability to ignore codes ‘by right.’ Well, that...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Serf City

January 28, 2024

January 28, 2024

Homelessness is a problem in California, and nowhere is this more evident than in our fair city, where the unhoused...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Bond Fatigue

January 22, 2024

January 22, 2024

Last week’s SMart article,  described two critical problems faced by our Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD): the declining...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Peace on Earth

December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

We are all, by now, saturated with jingles, holiday cards, “ho ho ho’s,” countless commercial advertisements, and exhortations to feel...

S.M.a.r.t Column: On the Clock with Mayor Brock

December 17, 2023

December 17, 2023

I became Santa Monica’s Mayor on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, following a simple “switch of the chairs” transition with outgoing...

S.M.a.r.t Column: SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL 2024

December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023

Position:Seeking Santa Monica City Council Candidate(s) Introduction:Exciting opportunity for the right candidate(s) to work with like-minded Council members committed to...

S.M.a.r.t Column: ARB (NOT Ready to Build!)

December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “…to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance...

SMa.r.t. Column: We are thankful for….

November 27, 2023

November 27, 2023

SMa.r.t. would like to wish you all a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and also to thank its readers...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Make the City New Again

November 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

When the COVID crisis struck, it cut the city’s income in half, demolishing many businesses and causing widespread layoffs and...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Four Futures

October 29, 2023

October 29, 2023

As well described by Paul Krugman, all cities have a core competency: things they do well or better regionally or...

SMa.r.t column: Beautiful Quartz Countertops Are Hurting Workers and Should Be Banned

October 9, 2023

October 9, 2023

Quartz countertops are super popular because they’re tough and can handle stains, scratches, and heat. But there’s a big problem:...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Architect’s Son Reflects On Civic Auditorium

October 2, 2023

October 2, 2023

Welton (David) Becket (1902-1969), pictured above, backed by a picture of our Civic Auditorium, was the designer of that famed...