Even though queer film Call Me By Your Name is getting a lot of Oscar buzz, recent comments by Armie Hammer, one of the leads, might not sit well with the LGBTQ+ audience.
During an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, Armie said that he wanted to pass on the role of Oliver. Armie plays one of the leads in Call Me By Your Name, a gay coming-of-age drama. The movie is an adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name. It also stars Timothée Chalamet as Elio Perlman, who starts a relationship with Oliver.
“I did want to pass. It scared me,” said Armie. “I was a little nervous about all the nudity that was originally in the script. And I had images of my daughter being at school, and she’s 13 years old, and people are teasing her and printing out pictures of my penis and, I thought, ‘Oh man!'” he added.
While Armie’s concerns are kind of understandable, it’s the director’s comments that makes Call Me By Your Name seem like a watered down version of a gay film to please the straight audience. Last month, director Luca Guadagnino mentioned to The Hollywood Reporter that he wasn’t “interested at all” when it came to including sex scenes in the film.
“The tone would’ve been very different from what I was looking for. I wanted the audience to completely rely on the emotional travel of these people and feel first love,” he shared. “I didn’t want the audience to find any difference or discrimination toward these characters. It was important to me to create this powerful universality.”
Of course, some can take his opinion as a way of him saying that he needed to take out the more intimate gay scenes because he wanted to make the film appeal to a wider audience. The fact that there was nudity in the original script but was taken out can also come across as a way for the production to not make the straight actors, like Armie, feel uncomfortable and keep them attached to the project.
I say this because if you go over films by Luca Guadagnino, he hasn’t shied away from nudity and explicit scenes from his ‘straight’ movies.
I don’t know if Call Me By Your Name will end up getting nominated for an Oscar. I’ve heard some criticisms about it being Moonlight for rich-white people. However, seeing that the original script was changed and the director took out intimate scenes between two queer characters due to whatever reason is disappointing.
Call Me By Your Name will be released in the US theatres on November 24, 2017.
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(via Hollywood Reporter)
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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