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This award-winning coming-of-age drama is set in Italy in the early 1980s and delves into a 17 year-old boy’s sexual exploration with both genders, until he finally learns of his true sexual identity.

When Elio (Timothee Chalamet) meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), an older family friend who has arrived from America for a six-week stay, a mutual attraction builds which initially leads to Elio’s sexual confusion, desire and ultimately a passionate and erotic gay relationship.

This provocative tale of a rare and very special relationship is slow to unfold, but effectively increments the sensuality and emotional intensity as Elio’s sexual awakening emerges.

What makes this film so powerful and realistic is that the two pivotal characters share zero chemistry because of their age difference, but by the film’s teary finale, audiences will feel the suffocating and aching love these two men share.

The nudity and graphic sex scenes in this minor erotic masterpiece may be somewhat confronting for prudish audiences, but the gay community who have experienced the joys, pain and sorrow of their first romantic encounter will be touched by the final moments. (MMo)

★★★★