It’s the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who’s working as an intern for Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois, Vanda Capriolo, Antonio Rimoldi
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Genres: Romance, Drama
Production Co: Frenesy Film, RT Features
Distributors: Sony Pictures Classics
Keywords: 1980s, Friend, Engaging, Growing up, Intense, Forbidden love, Father, Emotional
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his …
It takes a lot of work to make something simple. Exhibit A: “Call Me by Your Name,” the coming-of-age first romance of a 17-year-old American in 1983 Italy. “We had a little movie about the simplest story, yet it took a global effort of 10 years to get it across the finish line,” says producer Peter Spears.
He and fellow producer Howard Rosenman read the Andre Aciman novel in 2007 and quickly optioned it. The story centers on the romance of Elio and the 24-year-old Oliver, who’s working as his father’s assistant for a few months.There were challenges even from the start. “Potential financiers didn’t understand the movie,” Spears says. Some worried “Nothing bad happens.” Spears would tell them, “That’s kind of the point.” He adds, “They would ask ‘Could we make the mother evil?’ or suggest, ‘The stakes need to be higher.’ I always said, ‘It’s about the human heart, how much higher could the stakes get?’ ”
Since the story spans a few months, “The movie could only be shot in summer in Italy,” Spears says. “If we lost shooting in summer, we had to wait a whole other year to get on the runway again.” Several times, a director and actors would commit but inevitably someone dropped out to take a bigger-paying job and the yearly wait began anew.Shooting in Italy was a new experience for the producers, so early on, they contacted Luca Guadagnino, a longtime filmmaker who heads production company Frenesy Films. He started out as an adviser on the project, along with Marco Morabito.Emilie Georges from Memento in France understood the material right away. She and Rodrigo Teixera from RT from Brazil — two artist-driven companies — immediately said, “We want to make that movie.”