While the Internet continues to obsess over Chalamet and Hammer's erotic peach scene, the glory of the young actor's performance is scattered throughout the entire film, in moments where Guadagnino captures the eruption of homosexual passion like he's filming Planet Earth. Ellio is a creature of habit in early scenes, and the mundanity of his ritual -- eating breakfast, lounging around the Italian villa, swimming, more eating, reading, more eating, wasting time with his girlfriend, sleeping, possibly more eating -- set the foundation for a prismatic awakening (and are the most overlooked, nuanced parts of Chalamet's performance). The camera is ready to watch him, steady and peering.
Oliver rains down into life like a fallen meteor, melting Ellio at the core. This is when Chalamet really shines, not only navigating what could be a taboo relationship between two men, but the heart-bursting effect of love at first sight. At first, he resists out of respect for his intellect; Ellio is a master pianist, an avid reader, and a student of his father's rigorous academia -- if anything could wake him up from this new feeling in his gut, it'd be logical thought. As we know, that doesn't quite work out. Ellio is in full bloom, and Oliver reciprocates the feeling. The type of lust Chalamet carves out for his character -- a young man's fire with an aging adult's wisdom -- is a special treatment of classic movie romance that has clearly connected with audiences. Come for the buzzy peach scene, but stay for Ellio's longing looks while Oliver dances at the club, the pair's first hook-up, and the week-long trip that gives them a taste of what life together could really look like. In Call Me By Your Name, it's the wistful days spent cycling around Italy and more intimate beats. Every sustained glance is a reason Chalamet deserved the statue.