Call Me By Your Name is a dazzling reminder of the power of cinema. A glorious, emotional flourish, exquisitely acted and artfully directed. From the amazing opening credits onwards, this is a fantastic watch.

In the summer of 1983, Elio (a precocious Timothée Chalamet) is living with his parents in Northern Italy. They exist in an intellectual world of culture and great food. His father (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a professor and each summer has an assistant join him, to help manage his research. This summer, it’s Oliver (Armie Hammer), an evasive and charming American. 

There’s an immediate chemistry between Elio and Oliver and a sharing of the same interests, both being from a Jewish background and in the power of intellectual pursuits. Through a series of fun-filled summer days, their bond grows to something that transcends their individual backgrounds and becomes something indescribably wonderful.

Guadagnino allows the characters to grow together slowly, via glances or a slight touch and lets us into their world via their picturesque surroundings. Every frame of this film is stunningly beautiful, but it doesn’t get in the way of the characters. Chalamet is wonderful as Elio, a young man of clear intelligence but of some naivety on an emotional level. Hammer as Oliver, in his best performance yet, is charming and very secure in who he is. Completely evasive and less erudite – his constant use of "later" is an amusing running joke in his very formal surroundings – he skits around the edges of family life, whilst dominating the thoughts of Elio. Together they complement each other well and allow emotional growth between them, never rushing but with an obvious sexual tension that's magnificent to watch. There's an honesty and a raw, emotive quality to the acting that's exciting to watch and lingering in the mind.

The screenplay – based on the novel by Andre Aciman – and written by veteran director James Ivory, doesn't place the emphasis on the sexuality of the men. It's purely about the emotive connection and the chemistry they have and it's refreshing to see. There's a wonderfully acted scene late in the film, where Michael Stuhlbarg embraces his son, which perfectly sums up the intent of the filmmaker. The soundtrack plays a part in the mood, beautifully accompanying the imagery and includes two new songs by Sufjan Stevens.

In short, it's one of the cinematic treats of the latter half of 2017. Exquisitely shot and beautifully performed, heart-breaking and transformative but underscored with a sensual realism, it's worth pursuing a trip to catch this.

See two clips from Call Me By Your Name below and catch the film opening in New York and LA this Friday.