When it was announced that Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name would be released to qualify for Oscar season, it soon became a front-runner for many Academy Awards. But in comparison to other films popping up on the Academy’s radar, the heartwarming film will be just another good movie that came out this year.
The film tells the story of 17-year-old Elio (Timothee Chalamet), who spends six weeks in the summer of 1983 with his father’s young, attractive research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer). Along the way, a friendship forms between the two that turns to a passionate love affair, leading to Elio’s self-discovery of his sexuality.
The film is intensely intimate, and the sexual tension between Elio and Oliver is conveyed beautifully by Chalamet and Hammer. From the innocent touch of the hand to the passionate kisses they share in the secretive places of Italy, the romance is palpable.
The film isn’t bogged down by closeup shots that are popular in romantic films. Some of the shots are taken at a wider angle as if the torrid love affair was being viewed from a third-party perspective. By filming from further away, it makes the connection between the two of them obvious, which is why it’s no surprise that Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg) gives a beautiful monologue at the end of the film that says he knew about the relationship and accepts him for who he is.
Call Me By Your Name is all about acceptance, but that doesn’t mean the filmmakers will be giving their own acceptance speeches at the Oscars on March 4. The film was beautiful, but it doesn’t quite stack up to the other films that will be nominated. Film is in the age of comedy with films like I,Tonya and Lady Bird.
Call Me By Your Name is comparable to the 2015 film Brooklyn. Both tell amazing stories about love, but neither will get the recognition they deserve at awards ceremonies. Call Me By Your Name will be nominated in the top categories for sure, but only expect it to pick up one award for Best Adapted Screenplay — and even that’s a far stretch.