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“Call Me by Your Name”: A Foray into Sexuality and Burgeoning Adulthood

By Sam Clifton; For the Clock
On March 4, 2018

As one of the contenders for this year’s Best Picture at the Oscars, “Call Me by Your Name” has a lot of buzz surrounding it. It also holds nominations for Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song, only furthering expectations for the piece. This film was adapted from the book of the same title, and has seemed to take film festivals and indie-aimed theaters by storm.

The film (which was released on January 19 and directed by Luca Guadagnino) is a look into the summer life of the star character, Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) during 1983, in the middle of Italy. The story begins with the arrival of Oliver (Armie Hammer), a colleague of Elio’s father who has come to spend six weeks in the area.

As the summer progresses, sexual tension between Elio and Oliver increases, just as Elio is beginning to discover things about his own sexuality. With the setting being the 1980s, cultural opinions on homosexuality are still vehement, and the relationship between Elio and Oliver is kept discrete.

While sex itself is not taboo in this day and age, the film takes great care to look at the whole series of events in a non-judgmental light. This allows Elio to make the mistakes one is allowed to make as a teenager, while also being supportive about the fact that his sexuality may not align with the views of those around him. The film also never forces Elio to put a label on his sexuality, either--giving him the freedom to be whatever he is without being put into a societal “box.”

All in all, “Call Me by Your Name” is an immensely thought-out film, and its craftsmanship deserves to be recognized. And with such a breakout role for Timothée Chalamet, it will be interesting to see what projects he picks up down the road.

It has already been made public that there will be a sequel to “Call Me By Your Name,” and the film is sure to have legions of fans awaiting the release.

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