At the end of Mother!, Javier Bardem cracks open Jennifer Lawrence’s chest and scoops out her heart. That, friends, is what it’s like to watch the credits sequence at the end of Call Me by Your Name. I can’t say anything else without spoiling it, but suffice it to say that the love story comes with an epilogue akin to the one in Moonlight or the 400 Blows, with a character staring at the camera dead-on, daring you to share their emotion. Ahem. *Clears throat roughly* This is what we call a “scene.”
And yet! During this movie’s terrific, devastating conclusion, as I wiped away tears with a rough paper napkin, a handful of people in my Union Square auditorium shuffled out just as the credits began to roll. Despite the fact that the camera was still trained on one of the star’s faces! Despite the fact that a new Sufjan Stevens song, recorded for this movie, gently asks, “I have loved you for the last time, is it a video?” Despite the fact that the credits flash over one long, luminous take that features a man in a glorious button-down printed with sketches of faces. Other CMBYN obsessives have reported that New York’s Paris Theater and Union Square Regal cruelly turned on the auditorium lights during this epilogue. Maybe these people haven’t seen a movie before, but this is called “acting.” Look it up!
A word of advice, from someone who has listened to Mary J. Blige’s My Life album many times to reminisce and cry about this scene: Do not leave as the credits of Call Me by Your Name roll. After all this — the peach fucking and (not) eating, the shared shirt called Billowy, the dancing to “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs — you owe it to yourself to stay. The final scene is critical to Call Me by Your Name’s fabric. This is not some Marvel-style post-credits stinger, but rather, a moment of raw and radiant emotion.
Here are the only acceptable reasons to saunter out of the movie theater during this final scene:
— Your $6.25 nachos have spilled all over your impossibly cool velvet sweatpants, and you must race to the bathroom or this lewk that you have so lovingly prepared for this occasion will be totally ruined.
— Inexplicably, you’re in The Room, a movie where people always exit rooms too early. (In that case, hi doggie!)
— You are Armie Hammer’s wife, Elizabeth Chambers, and suddenly you feel inclined to tease Leonardo DiCaprio some more.
— You’ve just been fired from a Star Wars movie. (In that case, text me — this would be a cool scoop.)
— You’re late to a showing of Lady Bird with your mom.
— Oprah is present.
That’s it, that’s the whole list.