Why Everyone Should Experience the Magic of 'Call Me By Your Name'

Call Me By Your Name starring newcomer, Timothée Chalamet and the ever so charming Armie Hammer, took the world by storm at various film festivals in 2017, including its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in which it received a standing ovation. Set in Northern Italy in the early 1980s, Elio Perlman spends every summer reading and transcribing music, while his parents host an American student in their home for 6 weeks, while they serve as an intern for Elio’s father, Samuel, a university professor. Until one summer, Oliver arrives and changes absolutely everything. The film received extremely high praise, along with multiple nominations at the 2018 Oscar’s, including nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor for Timothée Chalamet.



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But the hidden gem of this movie, is actually the book that it is based on. Written by André Aciman, Call Me By Your Name was released in 2007 and wasn’t as popular as the film would eventually come to be. This enticing love story between 17-year-old Elio and 24-year-old Oliver, pulls you in, as if you’re living it with them. Written in Elio’s point-of-view, we see the constant roller coaster of  emotions he endures during his summer love affair with Oliver. Besides the obvious age gap between the two and Oliver being employed by Elio’s father, Elio grapples with the possibility of a relationship with a man. He spends the entirety of the novel finding his own sexuality, figuring out who and what he wants, and feeling everything so incredibly deeply. 

Having the book be from Elio’s point of view is truly beautiful because we can all relate what he is going through. The feeling of complete infatuation and need for someone who is so close but seems so far away. I truly feel as if I’m living among them at the Perlman villa, watching the encounters between Elio and Oliver or sitting down for breakfast with the family; and in my opinion, that is the epitome of magical writing.

The book, in my opinion, is a complement to the film because there are many aspects of the film that simply do not make sense without knowing the context. Things are made a lot clearer in the book and I recommend enjoying them together, whether you read the book beforehand or watch the movie first.

So you may be thinking, this movie came out 2 years ago, why does this matter now? Well a sequel to the novel called Find Me comes out later this month! André Aciman announced he was writing a sequel late last year and the internet went wild! According to Entertainment Weekly, “Find Me follows Samuel on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit his son, Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist; a chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami’s plans and changes his life forever. Elio, meanwhile, soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, and Oliver, now a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.” I am very excited to read this novel, to dive in deeper with some of my favorite characters and see where this story takes them.