As a bisexual woman, and on a personal level, it especially struck a chord when I first watched it. I’m painfully aware how cliché it is to say a piece of media drastically changed things for you. But, I initially laid eyes on this masterpiece during a time when I was only just getting to grips with my sexuality, and I was really struggling to embrace every single part I had to offer (promise - it’s so so much more fun when you do). At the time, Call Me By Your Name really highlighted to me the absolute joy to be found in loving whoever you want to love. The film’s candour towards Elio and Oliver’s relationship will immerse anyone.
Though film doesn’t necessarily intend to portray the hardships of coming to terms with your sexuality, or dealing with the stigma that can encase it, it is still perfectly authentic and I simply can’t fault the on-screen depiction of such a glowing love. The pair meet as Oliver undertakes an academic internship with Elio’s father (Sami) in Lombardy, Italy, where Elio’s family stay during summers. After this, the film charts how they subtly fall for each other before realising just how far they’d both fallen. Luca Guadagnino’s direction of André Aciman’s storyline takes us through a beautifully painful development of the pair’s relationship. Each moment of the process of falling in love is carefully tailored and presented in such a way that suggests a forbidden love is the upmost meaningful a love will ever be.
Call Me By Your Name gives me butterflies every single time I watch it, and I don’t think that’ll ever stop.
From their playful embraces and adventures by the pool or on cycles in a summer haze, to the final scene of Elio’s yearning silence in front of the fireplace, this film really captured the extents that love and affection can go in a very poetic way. The poignancy of emotion literally seems to radiate from the screen, and I genuinely haven’t had a similar experience to it yet.
Sufjan Stevens’ accompanying soundtrack succinctly captures the transient love the two feel for each other, and melodically photographs each moment in this heart-wrenching ride. With keynote track: The Mystery of Love capturing the crescendo of raw emotion for each other, before it all unfortunately has to come crashing down due to Oliver’s engagement back home and his dad’s intolerance of anything other.
Ultimately, this on-screen relationship simultaneously fills and breaks audiences’ hearts. Although Elio and Oliver’s relationship doesn’t address themes of prejudice, or self-acceptance surrounding your sexuality like other on-screen relationships do (such as Eric and Adam from Sex Education), it is one of the most captivating and ever-unraveling depictions of bared human emotion for all to see.
Image: The New Yorker