I feel like oliver doesnt feel the love as much as elio? Idk somehow I felt the same reading the book too.
Oh, anon… I couldn’t disagree more.
I can see you’ve sent this to a few people - unless we have several people suddenly doubting Oliver’s feelings for Elio! - so I’ll try and keep this brief (haha… me… brief… funny story).
I think there’s a case for arguing that Oliver probably loved Elio more but we’ll never really know, because we don’t have Oliver’s point of view. (And I’m not keen on quantifying love into more or less) Remember, when reading the book and watching the film, we’re seeing this story largely unfold through Elio’s eyes. I’m sure you know what it’s like to have a crush on someone and read way too much into everything they do, trying to find out if they like you back?
We do get a wealth of information in the book that supports Oliver’s feelings for Elio - especially once we get to ‘Ghost Spots’ and we see Oliver’s version of ghost spots hanging in his office (Elio’s postcard of Monet’s Berm), the memento of their trip to Rome living in his office, staring him in the face every time he goes to work, the fact that when they spoke on the phone when Elio was in the USA, and Elio called him “Elio” to see if he remembered… he had to get off of the phone and we find out through Mrs Perlman that he’s basically in tears over it? Not to mention all the little things he does throughout their summer together - he literally spent almost every night sitting on a rock just thinking about Elio and how he feels about him. He did that. For hours.
As for the film - it’s all down to Armie. I can’t imagine watching the film, seeing the Midnight sequence and then the morning after, and not find yourself drowning in how much Oliver feels for Elio. Even after the first kiss - you can see how worried Oliver is when Elio has a nosebleed. Oliver and Elio have a very jovial, fun relationship but this shouldn’t overshadow the real emotional moments we get throughout when they can finally show their feelings to each other (end of the peach scene, “we wasted so many days” scene, Oliver watching Elio sleep in Bergamo, Oliver not being able to look at Elio as he leaves the train station etc). I don’t know - Armie really sells it to me. He brings all the stuff I picked up on from the book and he has manifested it beautifully. Honestly, watch the scene again before the train station when Oliver is just watching Elio sleep - Oliver is so in love it actually hurts to see because you know what’s coming next.
I’m not setting out to convince you - if you didn’t feel it then you didn’t feel it and nothing I say can change that - but maybe you think Oliver doesn’t feel as much as Elio because you haven’t considered the story from Oliver’s point of view? The book and film don’t give it to us, we have to fill in these blanks and sort the facts Elio gives us from his often biased opinions or unfounded assumptions. But when we do fill in the blanks we realise just how much he really, really felt for Elio and I think continues to throughout his life. I hope the film sequel will really dive into the love Oliver carries for Elio throughout his life/parallel life.