Call Me by Your Name

Jan 31, 2018

It's beautifully written, photographed, and acted.

Call Me by Your Name

Grade: A

Director: Luca Guadgnino (A Bigger Splash)

Screenplay: James Ivory (The Remains of the Day), from Andre Aciman novel

Cast: Armie Hammer (Free Fire), Timothee Chalamet (Lady Bird)

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hr 12 min

by John DeSando

“How you live your life is your business, just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once.” Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg)

Seventeen-year old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) has fallen for scholar Oliver (Armie Hammer) in 1983 Northern Italy, a time and place where gay love is not spoken. But thankfully good hearts like his father in the quote above, know how rare and salutary love is even if it is same sex.

This Oscar-nominated small film deserves its acclaim, from writer James Ivory, who knows a thing or two about rich locales in Italy, to

Sufjan Stevens’ classy score, Call Me is Masterpiece Theater reworked for our time. Just add it to Brokeback Mountain and Moonlight for three peerless, artful depictions of queer love.

The languid pace that allows the revolutionary love to grow like ripening fruit is just right for those of us who long for the magical, bucolic Lombardy region at summer with lunches that last delightfully forever.

Come to think of, there is little conflict except for the girls who must forsake these handsome men not even knowing they are at the least bisexual but heading to homosexuality at a rapid pace. Call Me By  Your Name is a romance as much about adolescent coming of age as it is about the vagaries of love in any form or any age.

If you long for the sweet Merchant-Ivory motif set against a seductive Italian hill town, this work of art will inspire you to love again.

“He was good, and you were both lucky to have found each other, because... you too are good.” Mr. Perlman

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at