Call Me By Your Name (2017)—Italy
Set "somewhere in northern Italy" in 1983, director Luca Guadagnino tells the coming of age story of a seventeen-year-old Jewish American boy named Elio Perlman. The film is based upon the 2007 debut novel of the same title by Andre Aciman. Elio is a precocious only child who lives in a rambling rural villa outside a small town with his archaeologist father and Italian mother Annella. As he does every summer, Mr. Perlman invites an American grad student over to Italy for a six-week stint to help him as an intern. The intern Oliver is also Jewish, and he is duly impressed with Elio's command of classical music, history, and literature. Despite their respective dalliances with the local girls, not to mention their age difference, Oliver and Elio fall in love. Call Me By Your Name debuted at Sundance, won several awards from the Golden Globes, the American Film Institute, and the Screen Actors Guild, and has generally received rave reviews. I thought several scenes were cliched, like the departure at the train station (where else?!) at summer's bittersweet end, the local neighbors at lunch who spoke their loud, staccato Italian about politics, and a final fireplace scene with (what else?) snow falling outside. At least there was a very poignant and totally unexpected ending. This film is in English, Italian, French, and in one scene even a little German.