Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★½

This is my third viewing at this point, so at this point I'm just going to follow it wherever it leads, which will in all likelihood involve me being found curled up in a ball, reading In Search of Lost Time and subsisting on a mealy paste made from peach preserves and ground up Sufjan cassettes.

I do want to say just how wonderfully Call Me by Your Name models empathy by playing with these permeable boundaries between people, between eras, between nations, between internal and external worlds. A lot of this owes to the original story; shirts, notes, wounds, bathing suits, fruit all are imbued with a fetishistic power or erase the characters' armor. James Ivory makes full use of the house's layout to ground scenes in relation to the space and light available. Elio's constantly glancing outside from his bedroom, and in a flirtatious moment he gradually draws Oliver farther indoors with the capriccio. It also sets up Sayombhu Mukdeeprom's astounding photography. The light he captures through the foliage and the out-of-focus close-ups are great, and with hard contrast in the attic scene Chalamet could pass for Dexter Fletcher in Caravaggio.

The music does such a good job navigating Elio's internal and external worlds. I feel like it manages to pull off what Malick was attempting with Ravel and Debussy in Song to Song. The use of Ravel in the formal construction of the scene at the piazzetta is just astounding. It's just one long sequence shot that expands and contracts as the two characters approach each other and separate, with the flowing arpeggios appearing each time and filling the space in between. And as they traverse a literal rift of history, the reconfiguration of space, sound, and time is insane. Working with such a light narrative allows these scenes room to breathe, and it's to Guadagnino's credit as a director and a stylist that he manages to capture the film's most Proustian moments in their full sensory glory.