I FINALLY saw Call Me By Your Name, and Lainey would like me to get “all up in my feelings” about it, but I don’t have Kathleen’s gift for emotive expression. I do really like it, kind of love it, actually, and you will certainly feel many things watching it. I haven’t seen a movie so fully evoke the memory of first love and first heartbreak in a long time, maybe ever. And the film is so grounded in the physical world you can practically feel the Italian sun on your skin, and taste the peaches and apricots everyone is always eating. And I’m still processing the liquid imagery and how Elio (Timothee Chalamet) always seems to be wet, as if he’s oozing primordial soup whenever his desire is ignited. This is the third film from Luca Guadagnino where the act of watching becomes a physical engagement with cinema, he’s so good at making viewers feel and dream of touching the world his characters inhabit.
That transforming experience isn’t limited to the intended audience, either. Armie Hammer was profiled in Vulture and it sounds like the process of making CMBYN got to him and made him vulnerable in ways he didn’t expect (also read the follow up miscellany, this is the most interesting Armie Hammer has ever been). Of course, that’s what happens to Oliver, too. His defenses crumble and he has a beautiful affair with Elio, just as it sounds Hammer had a passionate working relationship with Guadagnino. Which is probably the secret to how Guadagnino gets such emotionally naked performances from actors.
CMBYN ought to be a shoo-in for some big nominations, including Best Picture. And indeed, here are Armie Hammer, Luca Guadagnino, and Timothee Chalamet schmoozing at an HFPA event. Have we talked about Hammer’s increasingly interesting style? It’s like post the pivot from blockbusters to indies, he decided to let his style flag fly higher and freer than before. I’m not sold on THE COLLAR OF HIS SHIRT, but I appreciate the effort, and I really like the periwinkle suit. Are we going to have to start watching Hammer like we do Taika Waititi? I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Lainey meant when she asked me to get into my feelings. (Lainey: see? CMBYN is so good, even Sarah couldn’t be contrary!)