THIS year will go down in Australian cinema history as the year that was book-ended with amazing queer-themed films.
We kicked off this year on a high note with Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight, regarded by many, as the year comes to a close, as one of the year’s very best.
It has some fierce competition with Call Me By Your Name.
Set in 1983, Call Me By Your Name is told from the point of view of 17-year-old Elio (Timothe Chalamet), who lives in northern Italy with his mum (Amira Casar) and archaeology professor dad (Michael Stuhlbarg).
His dad usually has a research assistant live with them while they work, but this particular time it is handsome and charming American Oliver (Armie Hammer).
As Elio’s sexuality begins to awaken, he finds himself fascinated by, then eventually attracted to the aloof guest, despite things heating up with his girlfriend Marzia (Esther Garrel).
Oliver at first shows Elio zero attention and interest, but eventually that changes and the two begin a secret romantic relationship.
There is something deeply special about this film; it is handled with such delicacy, respect and passion that it is apparent in every frame.
The story is so lovingly brought to the big screen that all those behind and in front of the camera deserve accolades.
There is a particularly awkward scene featuring a peach – but this is otherwise a beautifully realised story of coming of age, first love and first heartbreak.
Stuhlbarg plays a low-key, peripheral character but his delivery of his key monologue towards the end is award-worthy, as is Chalamet’s entire performance, which culminates in a devastating extended final shot of him as the credits play.
Call Me By Your Name (MA)
Directed by: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothe Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg
Four and a half stars
Review by: Julian Wright
In cinemas December 26