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Call Me by Your Name

Director:  Luca Guadagnino
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  2.0

Jewish-American Elio (Timothée Chalamet), who is staying with his archeologist father (Michael Stuhlbarg) and mother (Amira Casar) in Italy in the early 1980's, develops intense feelings for one of Dad's grad students, Oliver (Armie Hammer), while leading on his "girlfriend" Marzia (Esther Garrel). The birth and death of young love and self-discovery are timeless subjects worth exploring, however this is belabored and obvious - from the very first scene with Elio and Oliver it's clear what's going on between them, which it then beats into the ground, as they frolic in the water, cuddle in bed and then are separated (forever?), with Oliver phoning Elio from afar to tell him that he's engaged to be married. It lacks the poetry to make the scenario resonate - I'm no artist, but I'm fairly certain you don't use a sledgehammer exclusively to sculpt a figure. There is, surprisingly, a warm speech by Stuhlbarg at the finale that's one of the most positive father-son interactions in a movie I've ever possibly ever seen: he's fully aware of what transpired between the two, accepts it and encourages his kid to learn from the experience: that's the kind of parental acceptance many LGBT kids need to hear (although I think Dad is wrong about one thing: Mom knew. Moms always know).

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