Finally John and I were able to get out of our cocoon of flu to review another movie for you guys. It’s a weird time of year for reviews because the year is just beginning and many of the movies have either been nominated or ignored by the academy. This one is up for some of those golden boys and I guess I need to decide how I feel about that. Call me by your name. It’s difficult reviewing a movie that you really want to love. I’d have to say I liked it. It was good. Is it Oscar worthy? I’m not sure, in my opinion, that it’s worthy. Who doesn’t love a good gay love story but it felt to me like the plot on this one was lacking something. I’m not sure it was because the actual relationship finally began deep into the movie that by the time the events played out I almost felt like yelling at the screen oh for god sakes get over him he’s not all that you silly boy. Not too mention the ease in which the parents went with this whole situation. I mean doesn’t anyone care that this story is about an under age guy struggling with his sexuality? I’m just not completely comfortable with this subject matter considering Hollywood has a serious problem in this regard. The other thing that bothered me was all the unnecessary crotch shots. Don’t get me wrong I like me some good tantalizing crotch shots but not when under the assumption that I’m being directed to catch a glimpse of a minor who is clearly before his best date. Not to mention it never really played into the story line at all. It was clearly angle tricks to tempt the eyes and make us all feel a little bad that we want to look at this young dudes junk. I mean if the main character caught a glimpse and it was torturing him inside or something then I’d get it but we the audience didn’t need that to enhance this story line. The music was the glue for sure helping to pull on our heart strings. Let’s not be mistaken. This is not a gay love story. This is a story about a man who allows himself to become physical with a boy of 17. I just don’t know if this is subject matter to be celebrated. What’s your thoughts John? I’m giving this film….
Well if our previous movie review, “The Shape of Water” reminded me of the Sunday afternoon movies I got to see in my pre-teen years, today’s movie, “Call Me By Your Name” took me back in time, 34 years, to 1983 to a period when life appeared to be much less complicated than what we contend with currently.
From all the previews I had seen I absolutely wanted to see this movie. It had all the right ingredients for me, a dominant theme I could relate to, beautiful scenery and actors who had me curious as to how they would make this story work. So off to the cinema Bruce and I went to enjoy an afternoon’s viewing.
The script for this experience was written by James Ivory, of Merchant & Ivory fame – how many of you remember “A Room With A View” or “Howards End”? – I do!!! – who directed “Maurice” (the three movies being based on novels by E.M. Forster) which was a story with some parallels to the feature of the day. So I was even more excited to be transported into this world of the past.
“Call Me By Your Name” ‘s cinematography is wonderful with the colours of a Northern Italy in 1983 made to feel totally believable. Then we get to the story……
A 24 year old American university student comes for a six week visit to Italy to live with a Professor of archaeology and his family while assisting with cataloguing of the Professor’s accumulated paperwork and stuff. During the course of the visit the Professor’s seventeen year old son has to unwillingly giving up his bedroom to this guest, tolerate his presence, like and fall in love with him. Sounds good so far!!
The trouble is that this has to happen in 2 hours and 12 minutes!!!! I would be curious to see what the directors original four hour cut was like and see if it allowed the story to develop with a clearer sense of the time line. The movie in its current form would have been better served by drawing more attention to the calendar countdown in order to facilitate audience angst with relation to the events the characters experience. You never get a sense of the progress of the boys emotional journey. To be honest. I was left feeling unsatisfied. I decided to buy the book to see if the original text better supported the passing of time.
I’ll let you know if the book is any better.
2.5 cosmos out of 5