Call Me By Your Name, God’s Own Country stars to face off at BAFTAs

Nick Duffy January 5, 2018
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The stars of gay films Call Me By Your Name and God’s Own Country will face off for a BAFTA Award.

The nominations for the BAFTA Rising Star Award, which acknowledges new talents in the acting industry, were announced today.

And the stars of both of 2017’s most acclaimed gay films will face off for the award.

Timothée Chalamet, the star of rumoured Oscar contender Call Me By Your Name, was nominated for the award.

The film is based on the 2007 novel of the same name by André Aciman, tells a story of desire between 17-year-old student Elio (Chalamet) and student researcher Oliver (Armie Hammer).

Josh O’Connor, the star of hidden cinematic gem God’s Own Country, has also been nominated for the prestigious prize.

God’s Own Country

The actor played a gay Yorkshire farmer whose life is transformed by the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker.

The film, shot on a budget of just £1 million, is also considered a contender for this year’s awards season – though it had a much smaller opening than Call Me By Your Name.

Though similar thematically, the two films take a very different approach in terms of cinematography, tone and setting.

Call Me By Your Name’s picturesque and sanitised portrayal of the rural Italian countryside contrasts heavily with God’s Own Country’s mucky portrayal of muddy fields in Yorkshire.

O’Connor praised the number of LGBT films up for awards this year.

God’s Own Country

He said: “It’s great. I think it’s a really important stat. It’s an important stat because it’s good for the industry to know there is a hunger for films like this and the narratives like these.

“So the more we can say to the industry ‘come on, you need to make these.’ There is a hunger and you need to satisfy the hunger of the audience’ because these are the films they want to see.”

Also nominated in the category are Daniel Kaluuya, Florence Pugh and Tessa Thompson.

Thompson played superhero Valkyrie in the Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok.

She later revealed that the character was written and filmed as bisexual – but references to female love interests ended up being edited out of the film.

Call Me By Your Name recently landed three Golden Globe nominations – with both of its stars up for gongs.

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet were both nominated for Golden Globes.

Chalamet, 20, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture.

Meanwhile Hammer, 31, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

The film was also nominated for Best Picture in the Drama category

Call Me By Your Name’s much-praised director Luca Guadagnino missed out on the Best Director nomination, however.

The film is tipped for awards at the 2018 Oscars.

If it wins Best Picture, it would be the second year in a row that an LGBT-themed film takes the biggest prize, following on from Moonlight’s slightly befuddled triumph in 2017.

Battle of The Sexes, based on lesbian tennis legend Billie Jean King, picked up two nominations – for stars Emma Stone and Steve Carrol.

But despite its critical success, Call Me By Your Name has not be a big hit with the family of its star Armie Hammer.

The Golden Globe-nominated actor, who plays handsome student Oliver, recently revealed that his parents are yet to see the film.

Speaking to Mr Porter, Hammer said he doesn’t know what his family’s reaction would have been if he had had a gay relationship like the one portrayed in the film.

He said: “I don’t know. I know what I’d hope, but I don’t know.

“I am excited for my dad to see Call Me By Your Name. I think that he would have the capacity to get it and be proud of me for doing this work”.

The actor revealed that his mother may not even see the film, despite the rave reviews and Oscars buzz.

He said: “It’s always awkward to say, ‘Come to this movie where you can see my ass and watch me give a blow job’.

“My mum is more conservative. I don’t know if she’ll see it.”

In real life Hammer is straight, and has two kids with his wife Elizabeth.

Despite the extremely positive response to the film, some have questioned the casting of two straight men in the gay love story.

Explaining the decision, director Luis Guadagnino said: “This film is about the blossoming of love and desire, no matter where it comes from and toward what. So I couldn’t have ever thought of casting with any sort of gender agenda.

“I think people are so beautiful and complex as creatures that as much as I am fascinated with gender theory — I’ve studied [American gender theorist] Judith Butler for so long — I prefer much more never to investigate or label my performers in any way.

“I only cast the actors and actresses I fall in love with — truly having an emotion for them, an anticipation and enthusiasm when seeing them — and I believe that my emotional confidence in them blends into chemistry. It’s always been like that, and I hope I won’t be wrong in the future.”

Guadagnino also answered questions about why there are no explicit gay sex scenes in the film.

He said: “I wasn’t interested at all. The tone would’ve been very different from what I was looking for.

“I wanted the audience to completely rely on the emotional travel of these people and feel first love. I didn’t want the audience to find any difference or discrimination toward these characters.

“It was important to me to create this powerful universality, because the whole idea of the movie is that the other person makes you beautiful — enlightens you, elevates you.

“The other is often confronted with rejection, fear or a sense of dread, but the welcoming of the other is a fantastic thing to do, particularly in this historical moment.”

Hammer recently hit back at criticism of his privileged upbringing.

A BuzzFeed article had noted his years of appearing in films that were commercial failures, citing his appearance and wealthy family background as reasons for Hollywood execs continuing to “try and make Armie Hammer happen”.

The article claimed Hammer’s career as “a beautiful, pedigreed white man” afforded him opportunities to safely fail and bounce back, while minority actors found themselves out of work.

In response to the piece, Hammer tweeted: “Your chronology is spot on but your perspective is bitter AF.

“Maybe I’m just a guy who loves his job and refuses to do anything but what he loves to do.”

The Lone Ranger actor dramatically quit Twitter after the spat.

Hammer has also previously spoken out to defend criticism of the film’s love story, which involves a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man.

Failed actor James Woods, who has made a string of homophobic posts in the past, compared the film to paedophilia.

Quoting a tweet from attacking the film, he said: “As they quietly chip away the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA”.

NAMBLA refers to a defunct paedophilia advocacy organisation often cited by anti-LGBT activists as ‘proof’ that gay people are actually paedophiles.

Hammer hit back: ““Didn’t you date a 19 year old when you were 60…….?”

It is not illegal for an adult to sleep with a person who is over the age of consent.

Related topics: call me by your name, Gay, god's own country, LGBT

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