This film was a stunning example of what a Romance should be. I am wary of any film selling itself as a rom without the com but in this case it hit the nail on the not-too- sappy head.
It was funny, moving, and shot beautifully. Never once did you wonder who the actors were of if they actually liked, let alone loved one another (a dreadful anxiety brought on with the realisation that Patrick Swayze hated Jennifer Grey throughout the making of Dirty Dancing) because the characters were constructed and performed so beautifully. They may have been aided by the beautiful setting (Northern Italy in the 80s can’t be much more idyllic), brilliant writing and score, but all actors in this film performed superbly.
Though it is hard to argue that anyone stole the film, the performance given by Timotee Chalamet was flawless, helped not a little by his perfect French and Piano playing.
It would be hard to watch this film and not be overwhelmed by a sense of the classical. The father and one of the lovers, Oliver, are archaeologists looking for classical sculptures. Images of late classical works helps create an atmosphere of sensuality in the heady Italian summer. Though the use of the Classical world to frame a gay romance may seem a little obvious, we are reminded throughout that this is the 80s, and their relationship is still taboo, if not forbidden. The classical world therefore helps to make their love acceptable, as well as igniting their romance.
The film is filled with tension and desire, love scarcely fulfilled, in this tale of awakening. Indeed it may be the ideal of a sexual awakening: glamorous yet natural, but it is not. It honestly displays the confusion and embarrassment of this time in our lives.
This film is moving without being tragic, and ideal without being unreal.