The Reel Review
Timothée Chalamet stars in this James Ivory (of the popular Merchant Ivory films) adaptation of the André Aciman novel about 17-year-old Elio, experiencing his first love, for a brilliant and handsome graduate student (Armie Hammer) who is spending the summer of 1983 living and working with Elio’s family at their villa in Northern Italy. This sweet, slow burn of a film expertly captures the subtle imagery of sexual awakening and a bittersweet romance that defies social norms of the era. Chalamet and Hammer are mesmerizing as the unlikely lovers, but it is Michael Stuhlbarg, as young Elio’s wise father, who elicits the waterworks in the film’s final speech, about relishing both the joy and heartache of a fleeting first love. It is an absolutely beautiful film that will wreck your heart and have you reliving and relishing every detail of your own first love.
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