By Emily Lachman Contributor
Oscar season is in full swing, and this year’s most buzzed about films are all invested in the human experience. From Best Actor to Best Adapted Screenplay, the competition this year seems fiercer and the stakes seem higher; however, the film to watch is certainly “Call Me by Your Name.” It is the highest grossing limited release film of 2017 that is bringing critics and audiences to their feet.
I saw the film last week and I was moved to tears as well as laughter. I was also stunned by the performances by the leading man, Timotheé Chalamet, and his supporting actors, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg.
We are exposed to an Italian summer filled with oversized button-downs, nostalgic ‘80s chart toppers and erotic Greek sculptures. In this dreamy landscape, Elio (Chalamet) and Oliver (Hammer) foster a romance that is both incredibly sensual yet rooted in the fraternal. This budding romance against the beautiful Italian backdrop, paired with the film’s sophisticated intellectualism and high-brow art makes for a captivating, almost intoxicating, cinematic experience.
Originally written in novel form by André Aciman, “Call Me by Your Name” was adapted for the screen by Howard Rosenman, Peter Spear, James Ivory and director Peter Guadagnino. With minor changes to the narration’s perspective and time period, the core of the story remains intact, and that is what is translated so beautifully onto the screen. I will be astonished if this film does not take home Best Adapted Screenplay, not to mention Best Picture.
The performances are certainly the vehicles for this movie’s success. This is Elio’s story. Chalamet perfectly personifies the idiosyncrasies of a boy on the cusp of manhood. A stellar performance like this could win this 21-year-old an Oscar, making him the youngest to win Best Leading Actor. The chemistry that these two actors brought to the screen is effortless and simplistic, yet demands to be seen. Although I do believe Armie Hammer will be nominated for his role as Oliver, I think it will be Michael Stuhlbarg who will take home the trophy for Best Supporting Actor as Elio’s father, Professor Perlman. The monologue he delivers at the end of the film is earnest and profound; every child deserves to hear this speech from their parent(s).
And finally, the original music by Sufjan Stevens. His monotonous sounds breathe life into the film. Just like Guadagnino’s masterpiece, Steven’s music mirrors the film’s ease and emotion. His music is not what we typically see as a contender, but these originals—“Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon”—should be considered for nomination.