A charmingly loose, languid exploration of a rare love bound by time. The film covers the slow courtship of a boy and man separated by many years in age, over a gorgeous Northern Italian summer. It’s a sensual film, as the character’s slow orbiting of each other eventually reaches fevered peaks.
Director Luca Guadagnino finds the beauty and story in many different images, the character’s tentative uncovering of their feelings for each other being framed with a large statue literally between them, or a fruit ducking down below the frame for masturbatory purposes. The music often crests the visuals though, Sufjan Stevens’ original songs being deployed excellently.
The cast is stellar, particularly Michael Stuhlbarg (who delivers a brilliant late monologue on the beauty of giving yourself up to heartbreak as much as the love that preceded it, that dwarfs the preceding two hours) and Timothée Chalamet, who maps the entirety of the film’s course of emotions over his face in a fantastic ending shot.
It’s a sleepy affair (refreshingly, relaxingly free from plot, drama, or Hollywood cliches) that stumbles a bit in its implications and stickiness early on, but hits its emotional peaks hard and effectively towards the end. Three and a half peaches, and a pair of shorts.