In My Humble Opinion: Why 'Call Me By Your Name' is the Best Movie Ever Made

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS

Okay kids, what could be better than a beautifully made movie about two people in love living in Northern Italy in the 80’s? Absolutely nothing. (Except maybe a good pizza.) So, nevertheless, I am here to provide you with the details as to why this clearly is the best movie ever made, because I have seen it six times and think I have enough wisdom and knowledge to make that claim.

The film is based off of a book by the same title written by André Aciman, and follows the story line pretty well (except for the ending which is not in the movie at all). Throughout the book, Oliver, a grad student working with Elio’s father for the summer, and Elio, the son of the family with whom Oliver is staying with, spend a lot of time with each other and create an intense love for one another that is unparalleled to any great love I have ever seen on screen (or in real-life to be honest).

  1. For the time period it is set in, an openly gay relationship is quite frowned upon in the public eye. The story, set in 1983 in Northern Italy, shows the ins and outs of Elio and Oliver’s relationship as they learn to read each other’s signs and signals without being able to reciprocate as they would want, due to the social restraints set upon them, as well as their connection to Elio’s father who is also Oliver’s superior. I think it is important that this story was set in that time period because it shows that these types of relationships between two men, or even two women, are real, and just because no one talked about them does not mean they are not real. One of the main reasons I think this is one of the best movies, is because there is more of a focus on the connection between two individuals than the label put on them. Anyone watching can easily tell that Elio and Oliver are in love, and regardless of your feelings on gay relationships, you cannot deny the genuine connection of two people.

  1. The imagery in this movie blows my mind. The use of still frames and mirrors (I could go on about the mirrors for a whole other article) helps to tie the story all together – not to mention the negative flashback sequence. In my opinion, Luca (the director) did an amazing job using all of the resources available to create such an unabridged story without any bumps or seams. One of my favorite shots of the whole film is the still frame shot of the kitchen in the evening. There is no movement, just a kitchen in a household where you can tell a dinner had just been cleaned up and all of the dishes had just been put away. It makes it all seem so simple, like everything will be okay.

Also, not to drag on about the imagery, but the use of color during the dance floor sequence is so pleasing to the eye. I think the 80’s music and dance really ties is all together, so without seeing it you may not realize its beauty, but either way it’s great.

  1. The use of symbolism in the book makes it so interesting to me, although it is such a small factor to the overall story. (I am not sure if it is actually a real thing, although it makes sense in my mind.) In the film, Elio’s mother is reading him and his father a book where there is the question, “Is it better to speak or to die?” When Elio is telling Oliver about the book, Oliver askes the question to Elio. Elio responds that the character in the book says that it is better to speak, although he feels a trap somewhere. Ultimately, the character does not speak. For me, this spoke volumes (no pun intended). I feel that it played into the dynamic of Elio and Oliver’s relationship well. This was before they found out their feelings for one another, although they both somewhat knew where they were headed. In my opinion, the quote alludes to the fact that Elio should speak, or tell Oliver his true feelings, instead he doesn’t because he too might feel that there is a trap – just like in the book.

  1. The peach scene… if you know, you know.

  2. My Favorites (my friend and I took notes on the movie and these are the highlights from mine):

  • when Elio’s dad tries to test Oliver on the history of apricot and Oliver straight up schools him (and Elio is like .... my maaaaaan)
  • Elios mismatched shorts ALWAYS

  • the entire volleyball scene

  • Elio watching Oliver get dressed and OLIVER’S BUTT

  • when he keeps changing the song and irritating Oliver until he actually plays the right one

  • “is it better to speak or to die”

  • “why are you telling me this” “because I wanted you to know”

  • THEIR FIRST KISS

  • when Elio’s mom says that Oliver said he likes Elio and Elio is like !!!! What, when, where, why, and how????

  • “Are you glad I came here”

  • THE PEACH SCENE

In conclusion, this probably was a very bias take on the movie, considering the amount of times I have watched it. If I took every single thought I had about this movie and tried to write an article, I would be writing for years. I have analyzed every single part of it, down to the way the characters look at each other, and I can say that there is not one single flaw. Again, my biased opinion. However, I did use this article as sort of a medium in which I could write all of my big thoughts out in the hopes that someone would agree, and hopefully someone has. Overall, I stand with my claim that this is one of the best movies ever made, and if you don’t want to push it, it’s at least one of the best movies of the year. With the primary topic being around the relationship between two men in the 80’s, it also covers the relationships between parents and child, society and relationships, figuring yourself out as a person, juggling relationships, and working for the things you want in life – which sounds like the plot of a great movie.

 

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