As a tale of two young men falling in love in the middle of Italy, it’s no wonder that the film Call Me by Your Name has been positioned at the #4 spot on the best movies of 2017, number thirty-two most-discussed, and number thirty-three most shared movies of the same year.
(still of Call Me by Your Name, presenting Elio and Oliver)
The film tells the tale of seventeen year-old Elio on his path to self-discovery and exploration of his sexuality. During the summer, Elio’s father recruits a young man named Oliver to help him with his research regarding archeological discoveries of Greek sculptures. As they both stay in the same household, the two men seem to develop a fondness for each other, struggling with notions of self-doubt, self-exploration, and social expectations.
UPRM’s very own film association, Cinémathéque, coordinated a showing of the movie in effort to expand film appreciation around campus, as well as getting students ready for the Oscars. The award ceremony will take place this Sunday, March 4th. Cinémathéque’s event, “Road to The Oscars,” presented a new film each night during the last week of February. All of these films presented had been nominated for “Best Picture”.
For the particular showing of Call Me by Your Name, Cinémathéque partnered with SpectRUM (UPRM’s LGBT+ association) in an effort to expand their audience and create awareness of the LGBT+ community on campus. It was clearly a move that paid off, seeing how the event had to be moved to a bigger venue due to the fact that over eighty people came to see the film; all of which can certainly attest that the movie presented was an emotional rollercoaster. The “AWs” and gasps were constantly heard over the two hours of the movie’s run time, displaying how the ups and downs touched people’s hearts.
Call Me by Your Name is an exceptional film in many aspects, most of which had a lot to do with the sensibility and relatable aspect it offered. Elio, aged seventeen, had just recently begun to explore his sexuality and the limits it presented. His confusion was shown as he dated a girl, who seemed to have already been a close friend, and later as he confessed to Oliver that he felt attraction towards him. Both men engaged in a rather complex and hidden relationship, where they rarely met, and only in places where they couldn’t be seen. It appeared that Oliver constantly felt guilty for his attraction towards Elio, which lead to avoidance and various conversations about the possible consequences of anyone finding out. Later on in the film, Elio and Oliver fall in love with each other, but are unable to maintain the relationship. In the end, Elio’s parents knew of the relationship and took on the role of supporting their son and acknowledging that love is love, regardless of gender.
Overall, the film expands on the topics of self-exploration and encourages to experiment and find yourself. It transcends social taboos and isn’t afraid to touch on subjects such as past traumas and possible fears related to same-sex attraction/relationships. Elio is forced to experience the pain of that, which is not everlasting, and forced to face a continuously changing reality. Oliver is given the chance to experience a new kind of love in a new kind of relationship, inciting him to a sense of self-exploration and make a choice based on what he finds. Quite certainly, it is a pleasure to see LGBT+ representation in film, especially when it’s humanized. To anyone who has had the pleasure of witnessing such a well-conducted film, it is obvious why it’s among the best movies of 2017 and why it was nominated for “Best Picture.”
Here’s to hoping for the best at the Oscars!