Summer in a 17th century villa in Italy in 1983 is the setting for this beautifully made romantic film directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash).
It was written by James Ivory based on a novel by Andre Aciman. Sufjan Stevens arranged the music and included new songs written specially for the film.
Elio (Timothee Chalamet) is a precocious and attractive 17 year old who is spending time with his Jewish family during long summer days where nothing much happens. He spends his time reading, swimming, cycling, transcribing music and playing the piano.
His father ((Michael Stuhlbarg) is a professor of anthropology. He is joined by Oliver (Armie Hammer) a graduate student from America. Oliver is blond, tall, tanned and very handsome. He is in his mid-20s and has a charming manner that works on everybody.
After an initial cool start Elio (who is on the verge of exploring his sexuality) and Oliver spend more time together. A deeply affecting relationship develops – and days pass with untold thoughts and unspoken words. It is a first love for Elio and Oliver does not want to corrupt him. Eventually the two have to part – realizing their love will endure and become a treasured memory. And that it has changed their lives.
The two (straight) actors are outstanding and they give intimate and heart-warming performances.
Michael Stuhlbarg as Elio’s father conveys the deeply felt emotions in a heart to heart talk with Elio near the end of the movie which is memorable long after you leave the theatre.
This is a universal love story set in beautiful surroundings, sensuous, queer, and a great cast.
It won the Audience award at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Now showing at Luna Leederville and Luna SX.
Watch the trailer…