Timothée Chalamet is only 21 and that makes you sit up and notice the kind of work this young actor has delivered in 2017 alone. With Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird, Timothée has carved a place for himself that makes us applaud his raw-looking but polished skills.
“It’s a pure celebration of love,” that’s how Timothée describes the Oscar nominated film Call Me By Your Name. The film has received a lot of applause throughout the world for its poised portrayal of love and the break out star of the film, Timothée, has become an instant favourite.
Elio, his character in the film, is a 17-year-old who is still exploring his life, his music and also his sexuality until he meets Armie Hammer’s Oliver. The summer romance between the two and the longing affect it leaves on Elio is poignant, heart-wrenching but soothing at the same time.
Timothée’s Elio in Call Me By Your Name is drastically different than Kyle from Lady Bird. While one is a sensitive teenager, the other is quite obnoxious and both are immaculately performed by Chalamet. His watery eyes hold you in every frame of the Luca Guadagnino directorial and in the Greta Gerwig film, it’s his nonchalant attitude that makes him the stereotypical bad boy.
Chalamet impresses the viewers with these diametrically opposite roles and it is quite commendable that he has managed to deliver them both in the same year.
Elio is a 17-year-old who isn’t courageous enough to just walk up to someone he likes and confess his feelings. He toys around with the idea of liking a guy until he gets comfortable enough to talk about it. His expression in music is, somehow, the same way. He pays a tribute to the legends while trying to conceal his own talent. After he hints towards his feelings towards Oliver and is brutally shot down, Elio is even more vulnerable. His story with Oliver is headed for an end and even though they are both aware of it, it’s much harder for Elio to accept the same as by now, he has completely surrendered to his emotions.
In Lady Bird, Kyle has a much smaller role to play in the larger story arc but his relationship with Lady Bird provides her with her one of the most defining experiences of her teenage life. Lady Bird seeks his validation but is extremely disappointed when she finds out his truth.
In both these films, Timothée Chalamet aces the characters he plays. While you can’t help but fall in love with Elio, there’s a certain energy in Kyle that attracts you towards him. 2017 was certainly an exceptional year for this stellar performer and we can only hope that we continue to see such diverse performances from this actor.