A coming of age, romantic drama set in 1983, this is a story of first love and sexual awakening. It is beautifully filmed and extremely well acted by it's two leads, Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet.
Michael Stuhlbarg is Dr. Perlman, a Professor of Archaeology who spends the summer at a house in Northern Italy with his wife (played by Amira Casar) and seventeen year old son, Elio, played by Mr. Chalamet. Every summer, Professor Perlman enlists the assistance of a student aid and when the film opens we meet Oliver (Mr. Hammer) who slowly awakens confusing feelings in Elio. What starts as a friendship soon turns to much more.
The setting of the film is just exquisite. I found myself wanting to leap into the film and enjoy a summer, outdoor dinner among the fruit trees of the property. The film is a lush visual treat. Oliver and Elio begin their romance in a slow, subtle "dance" of mutual attraction and Elio is eventually totally smitten with the older Oliver. Mr. Hammer does his best work to date, showing a vulnerability underneath a confident exterior. Mr. Chalamet is simply amazing as he wrestles with his feelings and ultimately acts upon them. The closing moments of the film show a remarkable range in a dialog free scene for the young actor.
Luca Guadagnino directs from a script by James Ivory. Mr. Guadagnino purposes limits the nudity and the sex scenes in the film to hopefully broaden it's audience. He prefers to leave much to the audience's imagination cutting away from the protagonists in their most intimate moments. He blends this tender, romantic story with a wonderful combination of acting, writing, music (by Sufjan Stevens) and cinematography.