I'll cut to the chase: Call Me by Your Name is a masterpiece. A richly woven adaption of Andre Aciman's acclaimed novel set over one summer in Lombardy, Italy, the film follows Elio (Timothee Chalamet), a 17-year-old Italian-American who has a life-changing first love with his father's American research student, 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer).
Call Me by Your Name develops the central romance with care, taking a measured, thorough pace as it establishes Elio and Oliver's initial connection and drives it towards something deeper. It's more than worth the journey, and once the film reaches its emotional peak, it's overwhelmingly powerful.
Elio and Oliver's relationship is handled with a beautiful sensitivity and eventually becomes so intoxicating to watch that the lush Italian countryside becomes a mere backdrop to the heady, euphoric delight shared between the central pair. Hammer is fantastic as Oliver, but Chalamet gives a truly breathtaking breakout performance, driven home by a lingering final shot that will remain etched in viewers' minds for long after.
The film's last half hour provides some of the most emotionally striking scenes of recent cinema – there's a touchingly quiet empathy from Elio's mother (Amira Casar), and an extremely moving monologue from Elio's father (Michael Stuhlbarg) that delicately subverts the themes of suppression and shame often tied to queer love stories.
Call Me by Your Name is astonishing, and undoubtedly one of the best cinematic love stories to come out of 2017 - if not of this decade so far.
Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Running Time: 132 mins
Rating: RP13 (Sex scenes)
Verdict: A stunning, powerful love story that will linger in the mind for days after