Call Me by Your Name
Photo Credit: Focus Features

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in Italy, spending a summer assisting archaeologist Professor Perlman. Oliver moves into the Perlman family home, taking over the room of the Perlman’s 17-year-old son Elio. The sleepy Italian countryside operates at a much slower pace than the one Oliver is used to back home.

Profession... archaeology graduate student. This summer, that means assisting Professor Perlman while working on his own academic manuscript.

Interests... swimming, dancing, leaving conversations with a casual, “Later.”

Relationship Status... it’s complicated. Oliver easily flirts with the Italian women around him, but he keeps finding himself drawn to Elio. The two seem to share an intellectual and emotional bond that brings them together like magnets.

Challenge... figuring out what to do about Elio. Oliver is nervous about starting up a romantic relationship with Elio, partially because of potential prejudices against a gay relationship (particularly within his own family), but also because Elio is younger and less experienced. Oliver doesn’t want Elio to get hurt, especially because he’ll be leaving at the end of the summer. When Elio first hints at his feelings, Oliver responds, “Just pretend you didn’t.” Yet despite knowing he might be bad for Elio, Oliver can’t quite seem to stay away from him either. The two have a chemistry that’s impossible to ignore.

Personality... confident and charming. Oliver has the breezy self-assurance of someone who knows how magnetic he is to be around. Though he’s deeply intellectual, Oliver comes across more as a sporty golden boy than a bookish nerd. He’s handsome, smart, and endlessly flirtatious. He can be a little immature at times, particularly when he gives into his romantic impulses. Yet beneath his carefree, almost flippant exterior, Oliver has a sensitive soul longing to find its equal.


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