kyle dunne’s review published on Letterboxd:
yeah so it's been about a whole damn month since i first saw this, but here i go...
i read this book at a time i was discovering my own sexuality. i was alone in miami, interning for a company in a city that was completely foreign to me. i knew no one there, and yet, no one knew me. as someone who had recently come out of his shell so to speak, in discovering my identity, the idea of starting off in a new place with new people, without any preconceived notions, was equally daunting yet exciting.
however, i was also leaving my first boyfriend at the time. if boyfriend even is the right term. we started seeing each other right around the last month of my term at university, where we had both met in a class we had taken before. both of us had similar backgrounds: from the same suburb in portland, coming from middle class families, and recently coming out to our parents with pushback from our fathers.
while we started off going on dates to get food, or watching survivor at his place, it wasn't until memorial day weekend did i feel my life change in a way. the two of us traveled to the columbia river gorge (a place of stunning beauty for all you non-northwesterners) and had a cabin to ourselves together.
now not to make this my BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN moment... but it was my BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN moment. it was really just the two of us alone, hiking, making dinner, drinking, playing scrabble, fucking, all surrounded by natural splendor and sunshine. for the first time i got an idea of what love was. and i felt happy with who i was. perhaps for a short time, that was my northern italy.
thus the moment that spoke the most to me in this film was when oliver and elio left anything familiar to home and surrounded themselves with nature, hiking towards the waterfall. it's a short part, paired perfectly with sufjan's "mystery of love," but their playfulness, smiles, and heavy exertions of breath stung my heart. it directly mirrored my experience.
and while in miami, all i had was the memory of this. i could feel us drifting further apart, as he interned in seattle and me in the farthest place possible in the continental US, but at least i had this book. this story that better helped me examine how love can come and pass so quickly but leave such a profound impact.
perhaps the gorge wasn't it, but i'm still looking for my northern italy, wherever that may be.
-elio's mannerisms were so incredible, i couldn't help but feel pangs of joy. timothée truly WAS elio
-where is michael stuhlbarg's oscar nomination?
-i still need to apologize the marzia in my life...