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Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman, a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia. Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father, an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella, a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver, a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever. (Mongrel Media)
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, and Michael Stuhlbarg
Writer: James Ivory
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Rating: n/a (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 132mins
Believe the hype, that’s pretty much the short way to describe this film. This was simply a beautiful film to watch in every regard. Both the cinematography depicting the Italian countryside and the score helped to frame this compelling coming of age drama of sorts about a young man still trying to find himself. He may appear to have it all but he will discover that he still has a lot to learn about life and love.
This film would definitely not have worked as well if not for Hammer and Chalamet and their chemistry. They were great to watch together, however, Chalamet’s emotional performance as Elio and the evolution of the character was the best part of the film and thus should be considered come awards season. Stuhlbarg also provides an equally worthy performance as Elio’s father.
Overall, this was a beautiful coming of age drama with a compelling story and excellent performances.