A 21-year-old La Guardia alum, Chalamet has the bearing of a natural; he’s deeply committed to his character but also infuses Elio with something of himself, too, as the best movie stars do. Chalamet seems to know that he’s got an innate charm, a boyish grace, and he uses that to striking effect. Elio, soulful and impetuous and a little bratty, is a kid you’ve known, a kid you wanted to be, a kid you care and root for. It’s a mature and thoughtful performance, and it augurs great things for Chalamet going forward. Hell, the tremendous extended final shot of the film would be an acting opus for someone twice or three times his age. Call Me by Your Name is not Chalamet’s first piece of work (watch Miss Stevens on Netflix), but it feels in every sense like a grand debut.
It’s truly hard to put into words what a revelation Chalamet is as Elio. The 21-year-old actor is naturally charismatic, but how he communicates Elio’s emotions throughout the picture is simply breathtaking. Even when he’s depicting Elio’s inevitable moments of teenage angst there it’s never false or mannered. He’s a rock of naturalism on Guadagnino’s gorgeous canvas.
Meanwhile, relative newcomer Chalamet combines the intellectual precocity and hot-blooded animal energy of a young Louis Garrel, circa “the Dreamers,” distinguishing himself via the character’s mastery of three languages (English, French, and Italian) and two musical instruments (guitar and piano).
Though Hammer might be the bigger star and he certainly has a juicier-than-usual role here that he clearly relishes, the true breakout of the film is 21-year-old Chalamet. Elio is someone who is experiencing a lot of things for the first time, for which he barely has any words, but Chalamet’s face and body language turn his character into an open book. The minutes-long and wordless final shot, another rare close-up of Elio, is so mesmerizing that it immediately cements his status as one of the world’s brightest young talents. The chemistry between the men is palpable, but what’s more important, they convey their character’ complex emotions, expectations and thoughts without necessarily opening their mouths.
Timothée spoke briefly to Variety about “Call Me By Your Name”. You can see a few snippets below and read the entire thing here. The site now also has a Twitter @timotheenet, so check that out!
Would you say the movie is a faithful adaptation?
I haven’t seen it! I don’t know. I’m trying to hold out. I want to see it in the theater too for the first time.
Did you have to audition?
Luca just offered it. I met with him over two years ago.
How did you prepare? Did you read the book in addition to the script?
I read the book a couple of times. I went out to Crema, Italy, which is where Luca lives and shot the film. I went out there a month and a half early and worked diligently on my Italian, which was OK but wasn’t as good as I got it by the time we shot. And I worked on the piano and guitar playing. I spent a lot of time in a small town in France, growing up. I had an understanding of what small-town European life was like. But the Italian version of that would be different. I would literally sit in the town square to see what life was like out there. I met a group of young kids my age that didn’t know I was an actor, and I got to go out with them on weekends.
First off, according to Variety, the distribution rights for Timothée’s upcoming Sundance flick, “Call Me By Your Name”, have already been sold to Sony Pictures Classics.
One of the buzziest titles to debut at this month’s Sundance Film Festival is already off the market. “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay love story in the tradition of “Brokeback Mountain,” has sold to Sony Pictures Classics, Variety has learned.
The deal for worldwide rights, estimated to be north of $6 million, was struck after several buyers expressed serious interest. The movie will debut in the upcoming Park City festival’s Premieres section.
“Call Me By Your Name,” adapted from the 2007 novel by Andre Aciman, follows an affair after a chance meeting in 1980s Italy between a 17-year-old boy (Timothee Chalamet from “Homeland”) and a twentysomething man (Armie Hammer). It’s not clear what the movie will be rated, but the book involves a sexually explicit act with a peach and other charged moments.
Secondly, the first still from “Hot Summer Nights” is out and you can see it in the gallery.
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