Luca Guadagnino, 2017


Young Elio (Timothée Chalamet) falls for the great Oliver (Armie Hammer).


1983. Elio spends his holidays with his parents in a gorgeous villa located in Northern Italy. His peace of mind is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Oliver, a graduate student who works with Elio’s dad (Michael Stuhlbarg) on his thesis. The man is bright and charismatic. Very soon, a sexual tension arises between Elio and Oliver.

Why are you telling me this?

Cause I thought you should know.

Because you thought I should know??

Cause I wanted you to know.

They secretly start a liaison but Elio’s parents are not blind. They are actually fine with it. They even offer to Elio to spend some time with Oliver in Bergamo before he goes back to the US. The two lovers have the best time there.

After Oliver’s departure, Elio is truly inconsolable. His dad tries to find the right words.

How you live your life is your business, just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. And before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there’s sorrow, pain. Don’t kill it and with it the joy you’ve felt.

Elio keeps crying in front of the fire, desperately suffering from the emptiness that Oliver has left behind.



Call Me By Your Name is about what’s obvious.

We fool ourselves, thinking we can keep things secret. It’s an illusion. It’s simply impossible, especially when it comes to love. There are times when two people have feelings for each other and it’s obvious for the two of them. What’s obvious is obvious to everyone, by definition. That means everyone knows. When doors slam in the middle of the night, everyone can hear. When Elio wears Oliver shirt, it shows – and not just because the shirt is too big for him.

Marzia (Esther Garrel) knows about the two men. Elio’s mum (Amira Casar) knows too, not to mention his dad. Only Elio and Oliver want to believe no one else knows because it’s easier. That way they can stay in their own little world and not care about what people think. They ignore people’s judgement. They ignore everything, including their own identity issues.

Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.

What’s obvious is that some attractions just can’t be explained. As Montaigne would say to talk about his ‘friendship’ with Etienne de la Boétie:

Because it was him ; because it was me.

What’s obvious is that despite their love, those two will never free themselves from their own concerns. They will always need to compare to each other.

You were both lucky to have found each other, because you too are good.

… I think he was better than me!

What’s obvious is that men prefer men. They all have homosexual impulses that they manage more or less. Tom Hardy and Matt Damon are not completely clear with their sexuality. The same reality applies to Mr Perlman who almost crossed the river to see what’s on the other side.

Then let me say one more thing. It’ll clear the air. I may have come close, but I never had what you two have.

What’s obvious is that such open mindedness is only possible within a rich progressive family protected by the comfort of a very bourgeois environment.

We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste!

What’s obvious as well is that women know. Women always know. Only a man can be naive enough to pretend it’s not true.

Does mom know?

……….. I don’t think she does.

Can a relationship be obvious and mysterious at the same time? What is it that gay relationships have that straight relationship will never have? How come do women always know?


This publication reflects the views only of the author.

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