In the summer of 1983, Elio, the son of an archaeology professor falls in love with Oliver, his father’s research assistant, at their villa in northern Italy. The love story develops slowly — the screenwriter, James Ivory, is known for his deliberate pace (Remains of the Day, Room with a View). Much fruit imagery ensues.
The young lovers think nobody else notices, but of course, they do. Elio’s girlfriend knows something’s up, but doesn’t know what it is. Elio’s parents, though, know exactly what it is. The conversation between Elio and his father towards the end of the movie is remarkable.
The young men eventually must come to terms with the fact that, in 1983, it is still extraordinarily difficult to live openly as a gay couple. Without being at all preachy, the story is an eloquent argument for gay marriage.
Beautifully done, with outstanding performances by Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg. Highly recommended.