When I reviewed director Luca Guadagnino’s “A Bigger Splash” on my old website last year, I said it would be a great movie to watch with Italian cooking. Especially since in San Francisco, there is an Italian restaurant that plays an independent movie on the screen, while you eat.
This year, Guadagnino gives us “Call Me By Your Name,” which also shows us the beautiful country, while telling a romantic homosexual story set in the early 80s. This is even better than “A Bigger Splash,” because of how lovely it looks and how Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet are both electrifying.
Hammer plays Oliver, the research assistant of Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg), who invites him to stay with his family at their 17th Century villa. His 17-year-old son Elio (Chalamet) likes to read and listen to classical music on his Walkman, while growing to like Oliver. But it ends up becoming more than just a “like,” as the two start to fall for each other, despite Oliver’s concerns of their love story going too far.
The movie shows us their relationship, as well as their separate times, mostly aimed at Elio. And on the side, he sees a beautiful French girl named Marzia (Esther Garrel).
“Call Me By Your Name,” based on Andre Aciman’s novel with the screenplay done by James Ivory, is a gorgeous picture with a compelling look at Italy and the homosexual love story, which takes baby steps, being back then it was pretty risky. Hammer offers his handsome charms, while Chalamet (also in “Lady Bird”) is a natural young actor. And these two are together on screen, it’s fun. This movie made me want to go back to Italy again.