In 2017 the film Call Me By Your Name created a tectonic shift in contemporary cinema with its beautiful adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name. Exploring the queer, romantic, and coming-of-age story of two boys in the summer of Italy – one can’t help but fall for the intricate nuances. So, Like us, if you miss Elio and Oliver and are searching for movies like Call Me By Your Name, then; here’s a list of 15 deeply mesmerizing movies (some that influenced Luca Guadagnino for CMBYN) to watch now.
Few movies achieve to bring in the sense of delicacy and sensitivity as perceptively as the Academy Award-winning screenplay adaptation of Call Me By Your Name. Every moment captures the honest inner moments of human connections of the characters, Elio’s precociousness and Oliver’s self-assuring confidence are beautifully juxtaposed with introversion and impulses. The sense of belonging and deep desires are all wrapped in the lush scenery of Northern Italy in the 80s. There’s a truth in watching a film that brings out the reality of joy, love, friendship, sexuality, and heartbreak. The following films have every bit of the desire and vulnerabilities you might be looking for.
List of Movies Like Call Me By Your Name
1. Maurice (1987)
One of the films that inspired Luca on CMBYN creation is Hugh Grant and James Wilby’s Maurice. This is a British romantic drama film by James Ivory ( Yes, the very James Ivory who wrote CMBYN’s Academy award-winning Screenplay ) and based on the novel of the same name by E.M. Forster. The story follows Maurice Hall, a young man coming of age in Edwardian England, with scenes that are obvious inspirations for Luca’s summer in Italy.
Maurice struggles with his homosexuality in a society that criminalizes it, hence this a journey of self-discovery which begins when he meets and falls in love with a Cambridge classmate; but the journey brings more than that, a secret and forbidden affair. Maurice is a poignant exploration of love, desire, and societal norms and is perfect for movies like Call Me By Your Name.
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2. The Before Trilogy (1994-2004-2013)
The Before Trilogy is a series of 3 films directed by Richard Linklater which follows the romantic relationship between two characters, Jesse and Celine, over the course of 18 years. The first film, Before Sunrise, introduces us to the two characters as strangers who meet on a train and decide to spend one night exploring Vienna together.
The first film explores the familiar sense of connections and desires present in one’s youth. What the trilogy does for a fan of movies like Call Me By Your Name is that it takes the story further than summer love. The second and third film, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, takes place well in their adulthood, where characters persevere in their love and reflect on the past. Through naturalistic dialogues, beautiful locations, and nuanced performances from Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Before Trilogy is a story for generations.
3. God’s Own Country (2017)
God’s Own Country, directed by Francis Lee, follows a young farmer named Johnny Saxby, who lives on a remote sheep farm in Yorkshire, England. Johnny is a hard-drinking, emotionally repressed young man who struggles to find meaning and purpose in his life. However, his world is transformed when a Romanian migrant worker named Gheorghe arrives to help with lambing season.
As Johnny and Gheorghe work together, a deep bond forms between them, leading to a passionate and intense romantic relationship. However, their relationship is threatened by Johnny’s fear of being out in his conservative community and his inability to express his emotions. God’s Own Country is a powerful and moving story and an excellent pick for films like Call Me By Your Name.
4. Lady Bird (2017)
Timothée Chalamet won millions of hearts with his performance in CMBYN, along with the Academy nomination for Best Actor. While we were all watching him as Elio, he appeared as Kyle in Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird. Another well-received film of the year 2017, Lady Bird is a coming-of-age follows Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a high school senior in Sacramento in the early 2000s.
The film explores Lady Bird’s relationship with boys, with her mother, her tumultuous friendships, and her aspirations to attend college on the East Coast. Chalamet plays the role of Kyle Scheible, a charming but pretentious classmate of Lady Bird’s who she becomes infatuated with. While Timothée is not in a central role, Lady Bird is an honest coming-of-age similar to movies like Call Me By Your Name.
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5. In the Mood for Love (2000)
In the Mood for Love takes place in 1960s Hong Kong and tells the story of 2 neighbors, Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-Zhen, who begin to suspect that their spouses are having an affair. As they spend more time together, they develop feelings for each other but choose not to act on them due to their loyalty to their spouses.
The film presents the sensitivity of love, loss, and longing and is renowned for its stunning cinematography and intricate portrayal of the characters’ emotions. In the Mood for Love has been praised as one of the greatest films of the 21st century, is one of the best films similar to Call Me By Your Name that you can watch.
6. I Am Love (2009)
Before Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino directed a romance affair about a woman who is married to a patriarch of a wealthy family but is unhappy with the marriage. I Am Love shows Emma (Tilda Swinton) as the wife and the mother of 3 grown-up children in the wealthy Recchi family, who are a part of the high society of Milan. She feels trapped in her lavish lifestyle and unhappy until she meets Antonio, a chef who works for the family business.
Emma and Antonio begin a passionate affair, threatening to destroy the Recchi family’s carefully constructed facade. You will be reminded of the strength of desire and love from the story, and the stunning visuals and music compositions by John Adams will reinforce your love for films like Call Me By Your Name.
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7. Carol (2015)
Carol tells the story of a young aspiring photographer, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) in 1950s New York, who falls in love with an older, sophisticated woman named Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). The performance of Blancett and Mara
As their relationship develops, they face social and personal obstacles, including Carol’s ongoing divorce and the societal pressures of being in a same-sex relationship during a time when it was not widely accepted. With stunning performances, Carol is a brilliant female-centric homosexual for a fan of movies like Call Me By Your Name to watch.
8. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a French film about a young woman named Adèle who is struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. Adèle falls in love with a blue-haired artist named Emma, and the film chronicles their intense relationship, exploring themes of sensuality, intimacy, and the complexities of coming of age.
Movies similar to Call Me By Your Name, this film is known for its raw and emotional portrayal of desire and love, as well as its explicit and graphic sexual content. Adèle’s journey of self-identity is just as heart-warming as Elio’s. Receiving critical acclaim for its performances, particularly by lead actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a gorgeous foreign-language film for you.
9. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
River Phoenix is remembered for his incredible performance in movies like Stand By Me, and this independent drama film directed by Gus Van Sant called My Own Private Idaho. One of Keanu Reeves’ early gems, this film looks at two young street hustlers, Mike (River Phoenix) and Scott (Keanu Reeves), as they travel through the Pacific Northwest in search of meaning and identity.
Mike suffers from narcolepsy and often falls asleep randomly, causing him to slip into dreamlike sequences that reveal his hidden desires and fears. Meanwhile, Scott deals with his own conflicts, including his wealthy family and his unrequited love for Mike. My Own Private Idaho is a lovely story and a must-watch for fans of films like Call Me By Your Name.
10. Moonlight (2016)
In the recent decade, many LGBTQ+ stories have emerged supporting the community’s voice. Before films like Call Me By Your Name,made gained high critical appreciation, the movie Moonlight made history by winning the 89th Academy Award for Best Picture. This coming-of-age drama film directed by Barry Jenkins focuses on a young African-American man named Chiron, who grows up in a rough neighborhood in Miami, Florida.
The film is divided into 3 chapters, each portraying a different stage of Chiron’s life: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Throughout the film, Chiron struggles to come to terms with his identity and sexuality, as well as his strained relationship with his drug-addicted mother. This is his nuanced journey of finding solace and falling in love in a world with confined ideas of masculinity, race, and sexuality.
11. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brokeback Mountain is a romantic drama film based on a short story by Annie Proulx. The movie tells the story of Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), two young cowboys who fall in love while working as sheepherders on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming during the 1960s.
The men’s passionate relationship is complicated by the societal and cultural norms of the time, and they eventually go their separate ways, marrying women and starting families. If you read the Call Me By Your Name novel then the reunion that happens for Ennis and Jack years later will remind you of the reunion between Elio and Oliver (one that we never saw in the movie). If you’re eagerly wishing for a sequel for movies like Call Me By Your Name then Brokeback Mountain might help you with that.
12. Love, Simon (2018)
Love, Simon is a teenage romantic comedy-drama film that tells the story of Simon Spier, a teenage boy who is struggling to come out as gay to his friends and family. Simon is living a normal life until he falls in love with a mysterious classmate online, who goes by the name Blue.
As he navigates his own identity and tries to uncover the identity of his secret admirer, Simon must also deal with the challenges of high school life, including bullying, peer pressure, and social expectations. With the help of his friends and family, Simon eventually finds the courage to come out and embrace his true self. For films similar to Call Me By Your Name, Love, Simon will make a great feel-good option for you.
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13. Little Women (2019)
Timothée worked again with Greta Gerwig on her adaptation of the well-known novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. And don’t worry, he’s not a (total) douche in this one like Lady Bird. The movie focuses on the lives of the four young sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March, in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Timothée plays the role of Laurie, a charming and wealthy neighbor who becomes a close friend of the March sisters, particularly Jo. Amongst incredible performances by Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Maryl Streep, his performance is endearing, and the story is exceptionally heart-warming. I would highly recommend you watch Little Women after movies like Call Me By Your Name.
14. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
The artistic and visual masterpiece of a French film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, is set in the 18th century and tells the story of a young artist, Marianne. She is commissioned to paint a portrait of a woman named Héloïse, who is set to be married to a nobleman. However, Héloïse refuses to pose for the portrait, so Marianne must study her secretly.
As they spend time together, they develop a close relationship and fall in love. However, their love is threatened as Héloïse must fulfill her obligations and marry the nobleman. The poetry of love and the restrictions placed on women during the time period are as beautiful as the literary and historical nuances in movies like Call Me By Your Name.
15. A Day in the Country (1946)
Originally called Partie de champagne in French, A Day in the Country is a movie based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant and tells the story of a Parisian family who spends a day in the countryside. The film is a bittersweet exploration of their love and the fleeting nature of happiness and fits well in the list of films similar to Call Me By Your Name.
The family encounters a group of bohemian country folk, including a young woman who catches the eye of both the father and son. As the day progresses, the family becomes increasingly entranced by the beauty of the countryside and the simple pleasures of life. However, the idyllic day is cut short when a sudden rainstorm forces them to return to the city, leaving behind their memories of a brief moment of happiness.
Here are a few movies like Call Me By Your Name that didn’t make this list, but you can check them out if you like:
- Brief Encounter
- And Then We Danced