Summer movie club: Call Me by Your Name (2017)

For this week's summer movie club, Stephen Irving discusses how Call me By Your Name is the perfect movie to experience escapism this lockdown

Stephen Irving
24th May 2020
Image Credit: IMDb
With lockdown extended and the prospect of a scorching summer being spent in semi-isolation, there has never been a better time to curl up with a summer movie and experience some escapism. For me, that escapism could be found in non other than Luca Gaudagnino’s coming-of-age romantic drama, Call Me by Your Name.

Set in rural Northern Italy in the summer of 1983, the film explores the burgeoning romance between 17-year-old, Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and 24-year-old, Oliver (Armie Hammer).

The hopeless romantic in me has always had a soft spot for the escapism that can be found in a romantic film. The will-they-won’t-they that makes up most films of the genre has always been something of a guilty pleasure of mine. Call Me by Your Name, however, doesn’t strictly follow the usual structure of a romance film. The coming-of-age elements of the film provide enough twists in the plot to avoid the ending becoming too predictable, allowing you to escape into the lives of each character.

The film's soundtrack has to be given credit for intensifying the nostalgia we all can wish to disappear into

The slow-burning nature of the romance between Elio and Oliver that we get glimpses of through their initially sparse dialogue only make you feel more invested in their unfolding story. Of course, the sprawling farmhouse, nestled among the rolling hills, in which the Perlman’s reside with Oliver, makes for the perfect setting for a summer romance. For anyone dreaming of escaping to a warmer climate and meeting a handsome stranger, this is the perfect piece of escapism to get lost in.

The film’s soundtrack has to be given credit for intensifying the nostalgia we all can wish to disappear into when thinking back on a hazy summer from our adolescence. Sufjan Stevens’ Oscar nominated score, with its soaring piano mimicking the flurry of emotions felt by Elio upon Oliver’s arrival, only adds to the romantic escapism of the film. His score has such a wistfulness about it that you can’t help but be drawn into the romanticism of Elio’s journey of self-discovery he embarks upon when experiencing his first love.

All of these elements that comprise Call Me by Your Name make it what I would consider the ideal piece of escapism when we perhaps need it the most. After all, a film consisting of young love, a summer in the Italian countryside, gallons of wine and mountains of food can never be a bad thing!

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