- Format: DVD Region 2 for the UK
- Number of Disc: 1
- Genre: Drama
- Starring: Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Timoth¨¦e Chalamet
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Release Date: 2018
What’s it about
Much like the film itself, the journey and ultimate transition from youth to adulthood is usually a brief moment in the span of life. Our interests are well developed, our personalities relatively set, we are educated…but, we have yet to experience true love and intimacy, and the seemingly never ending pain of its loss. We’ve all been there. If we try hard enough (or watch a film like this) we may have emotional memories of our own self discovery that we experienced in youth. That overwhelming, burning intensity of desire, mixed seamlessly with a reserved self-consciousness, confusion, and guilt. We all remember the rush that came from the person we liked most in this world putting even one finger on ours, for the first time. The world outside of that moment melted away like never before. Likewise, we might remember the need we felt to think about every word we said before we said it, suddenly caring so much about what this one particular person thought of us. Do they know? Do I want them to know? Do they care? Am I good enough? Most importantly, does the risk of speaking truth outweigh the pain of silence?
“Coming of age” is a label that I’m not particularly a fan of, but it is the most commonly understood label for this genre. I suppose you could call this a “coming of age” film, but, is told from a unique same sex perspective (in the 80s’) and the nature of the transition is purely relationship based. Elio, the precocious 17 year old partaking in this journey, is already by most accounts…an adult. He is a highly educated musical prodigy and polyglot, belonging to an educated and privileged family, and has enjoyed all the freedoms and cultured experiences that this kind of life allows. That includes world travels and Summers at his parent’s villa in Northern Italy. He is sexually active with his girlfriend, drinks, smokes, reads high brow literature, and transcribes music by ear. But, what he has not experienced, is what to him “matters most”. Enter the older, handsome, and intellectual doctoral student, Oliver, to whom Elio is compelled to confess this lack of knowledge. Oliver is discovering his own buried identity, which has been carefully hidden by his overly confident exterior. You get the idea.
It¡¯s the summer of 1983 in Italy, and Elio (Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old, spends his days in his family¡¯s villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading and flirting with his friend Marzia. One day, Oliver (Hammer), a charming American scholar arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio¡¯s father, an eminent professor. Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.