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Entertainment Weekly

Movies

Moonlight director hails Call Me By Your Name: 'A supremely delicate and humane work'

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images; Sony Pictures Classics

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Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins has finally seen Call Me By Your Name, and the director behind the LGBTQ coming-of-age story of last year’s awards season shared his glowing review of this year’s standout over social media.

“CALL ME BY YOUR NAME — sweetness without a trace of sentimentality; a work made without fear of sentimentality,” Jenkins, whose work won best picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, wrote. “Sweetness beside sex. Sex that transmutes love. An intellectually rigorous examination that never loses warmth. Earnest, mature and endearing the whole way through.”

Directed by Luca Guadagnino and exquisitely shot by cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Call Me By Your Name, starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, adapted the book of the same name by André Aciman. The story follows 17-year-old Elio (Chalamet) who falls in love with a handsome doctoral student (Hammer) coming to intern at his father’s sun-drenched Italian villa during the summer.

Jenkins’ Moonlight tackled similar subject matter but through the eyes of Chiron, a young black kid who comes to terms with his sexuality as he grows up through an impoverished Miami backdrop.

“Refreshing to see a work that aligns curiosity, fear and courage side by side, image to image, human beings drifting from one emotion to the next and back, revealing and retreating from themselves, from life; all of us capable of so much, but allowing ourselves so very little,” Jenkins continued his review of Call Me By Your Name.

“And I’m glad I waited to see it in a theatre,” he wrote. “Had no idea it was shot on emulsion. I may be reaching, but there’s a tension between the grain and the focus here. A delicate tension for sure. A struggle to resolve. A fleeting, elegiac struggle to resolve.”

Jenkins called the film “a supremely delicate and humane work,” that’s also “elegant and brilliant in its modesty.”

“For in this film,” he added, “Luca has gotten to the essence of a clear principle: there are few things more profound than the evolution of a human heart. And there’s no more direct way to access one’s true self. To that end, it was not lost on me that in a film titled [Call Me By Your Name], the last word spoken was…”

Mild spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen the film: After the credits finish rolling over Elio, whose tear-stained face has been staring into the fireplace, his mother calls him name for dinner.

Call Me By Your Name received high praise from critics, and the film garnered three Golden Globe nominations for best drama film, best actor in a drama (Chalamet), and best supporting actor in a drama (Hammer).

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