Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Call Me By Your Name follows a teenage boy, Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, over the summer of 1983.  Elio is living with his parents in the northern Italy countryside.  His father is an archaeology professor and brings on graduate students each year to assist him in his research.  When Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, arrives at the Italian estate, Elio becomes interested in him and they soon begin to have a romantic relationship.

With all of the hype this movie received, I expected it to be a compelling and emotional love story.  However, it came across more like an inappropriate and abusive relationship.  This film is branded as a coming of age story, following an adolescent going through his first love experience.  Although, Oliver’s predatory nature makes the romantic love story seem gross.  Call Me By Your Name instead follows the story of a young kid subtly seduced by an older and more experienced man, and then manipulated into a confusing and involved relationship that is way over his head.  On top of that, there seems to be a lack of communication conveyed through the storytelling; perhaps it was the lack of chemistry that I felt from the two leads.  Their relationship seemed to escalate at a rate that did not make sense given the information we had been presented with.

If you are looking for a compelling and emotionally driven film about LGBTQ subject matter, then you should watch some more eloquently executed films like God’s Own Country or 120 Beats Per Minute.

God’s Own Country (2017)

A depressed young man struggles to stay sober while working on his family’s farm.  His paralyzed father is unable to work and the demoralized son is being stretched too thin.  In an effort to help pick up the slack, the father hires a temporary Romanian laborer who helps keep the farm running smoothly and cures the son’s loneliness.

Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

Why do we do this?
Well you got to do something.  Now don’t ya?

 

I was interested to see what the hype was all about when it comes to Rebel Without a Cause.  It is a movie that never fails to make it on a list of influential or greatest movies of all time lists.  With that said, I tried to go into this movie with as little expectations as I could.

Rebel Without a Cause follows the plight of a group of high school kids as they try to make sense of the world around them.  Trying to find your identity can be tough, but when you are constantly moving from town to town it can be even harder.  Jim Stark, played by James Dean, is forced to start fresh in a new town and the first 24 hours are not a roller coaster, they are a rocket ship.

Mr. Nobody (2009)

Jaco Van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody is an ambitious project in terms of concept and structure. The film dissects life’s struggles and achievements through an examination of infinite choices, possibilities, and outcomes.  Nothing happens in a vacuum, and this film functions as a vehicle to demonstrate this idea.  An individual’s path in life can be broken down into a series of junctions defined by choices, actions, and responses.  Each junction setting the stage for the next and influenced by the previous.  Dormael accents this powerful exploration of the human mind with a mosaic of differing camera shots and editing styles.  The final result is a challenging concept that loses some of the impact through convolution.