Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird are two nominated longs for the Oscar for Best Picture that have in common both the theme of the rite of passage and the actor Timothée Chalamet, who was nominated for the category of Best Lead Actor for the production of Luca Guadagnino , Call Me by Your Name, which also competes in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.
Call Me by Your Name tells the story of Elio Perlman (Timothéé Chamalet), a teenager who lives with his family in a charming Italian village in the 80’s. Although Elio seems ripe for a boy of 17 years, throughout the film we realize that still is very inexperienced in love relationships. When Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives in the village as a doctoral student of his father (who is a professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture), Elio begins to fall in love and find emotions that he had not felt before.
With the Italian director Luca Guadagnino behind the production of the film, Call Me by Your Name acquires a very characteristic style of European cinema. With patient cameras that let the action unfold without haste, we know the pain and joy of the protagonist almost in real time. More importantly, there is a strong use of metaphors and visual comparisons that indicate the protagonist’s mental and sentimental state, such as the director’s constant focus on water, nature, and the 17th-century Italian village to communicate feelings more personal of Elio.
Just as in Call Me by her Name, the protagonist of Lady Bird does not demonstrate maturity in relation to relationships. However, unlike Elio, the protagonist’s own family becomes an obstacle against this maturation. The result is a teenager who feels completely out of her community. It is with the incredible will to assert herself in a world that does not see as her that Christine (Saoirse Ronan) decides to call herself Lady Bird.
This attitude does not help her in relationships. Lady Bird is extremely innocent and can not judge well who chooses to share her emotions. But more than in “Call Me by Your Name,” which focuses primarily on the teenage love affair, Lady Bird also focuses on the relationship of the protagonist with her controlling mother, who matures with the girl.
While Calling Me by Your Name is clearly a European film, the director and also actress Greta Gerwig has given to the film the style of American independent cinema seen enough in festivals like Sundance. The production cameras are contemplative and also let the actions unfold more than can be seen in other more traditional titles. However, the very actions of the characters, who are eccentric, often break this contemplation, such as to avoid an argument with their mother, Lady Bird plays the car in motion.
With so many different-style films at the 2018 Oscar, it’s hard to predict who will win or whether one of these two will win the award. If the decision is between Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird, we will know that the competition is between European cinema and American independent cinema.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)