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.

L’Armee des ombres(Army of Shadows) (1969)

I saw the 2006 re-release of L’Armee des ombres and it was my introduction into Melville and French film.  The movie starts off slow and progressively picks up steam, always keeping the viewer on their toes and never knowing who to trust.  Melville’s L’Armee des ombres is a dreary and lonely look at resistance and revolution.  Also, Lino bears a distracting resemblance to Kevin Spacey, or is it just me?  This should be a must see if you are attracted to dark French films or are interested in finding out.