Thursday, 31 May 2018

DVD/Blu-ray Mini-Review - Call Me By Your Name (15)

Grow up. See you at midnight.
The Gist: Timothee Chalamet (Lady Bird) plays Elio, a sharp and precocious teenage lad spending the long, hot summer of 1983 in an Northern Italian villa with his mother and archaeologist father. At least one local girl has an eye for him, but Elio is much more interested in his dad's research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer). As temperatures soar and sweat trickles (and they all pore over exquisite Greco-Roman statues), it can only be a matter of time till borderline-taboo passions reach boiling.
The Juice: This story is all about the heat - the entire film bakes in the Italian summer, the whole look of it is hazy and sun-bleached. There's an intoxicating sense of time and place in every frame (you'll want to book your flight ten minutes in) and it's all redolent of youthful desire. The adolescent longing - its pining, its irritation, its sublimated sense of need - is tangible. Elio's flirtation with Marzia, the girl his own age, is innocent; his fascination with Oliver promises a turbulent leap into adulthood, which will change him forever. The leads' chemistry spikes like the temperature - their interactions are tender, fearless, vulnerable and profoundly convincing. This is a passion as compelling as the film's plangent piano score, one complimented perfectly by Sufjan Stevens' original songs. 'Tis a wintry heart indeed that won't fall for Elio and Oliver's love.
The Judgement: 9/10. It's a long, slow burn - but when it truly catches fire, Call Me By Your Name has an emotionally incendiary quality that's sure to stay with you. If you've ever known summertime love, whoever you've known it with, you'll feel its transitory, transformative beauty all over again - never more so than in the film's final riveting moments. A blissful, heady, sensual, poignant, heartbreaking peach of a film. And one that actually involves peaches in a scene that... But no more of that. Spoilers. 

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