Hi! Sorry if you answered this before but I'm new to this (although I have managed to watch the film 3 times and read the book in the last two weeks...)! I keep going back to the scene with Elio and his dad when Elio asks if his mum knows and his dad says he doesn't think so. But she clearly does? I'm not sure I'm quite getting what that moment is about and wondering if you had some clarity! Thanks!
Hello! Ahh welcome to the club - I think those of us that have had the chance to see it so much have taken every opportunity to do so!
Unfortunately, the only clarity I have is what I thought when I watched it. In the book, it’s clear Elio is talking about his relationship with Oliver - does his mum know? I think it’s a fair assumption to make with the book that she doesn’t know however they made the choice with the film to let Mrs Perlman deliver us some of Vimini’s lines - which I thought was a fantastic choice - however this means that as a viewer, we already know that she’s had these conversations with Elio and about Elio. We also know that she was the one to suggest to Mr Perlman that Elio should go to Bergamo and how awful it would be for him to be left behind without Oliver. I just can’t buy that someone as astute and observant and Mr Perlman would not notice what his wife is getting at in those moments. So whilst I appreciate the talk Elio and Mr Perlman have and the dialogue being almost verbatim, it throws me a bit to hear Mr Perlman say so confidently that he doesn’t think she knows.
Which leads me to a few conclusions and I can’t decide which - 1) Elio is asking about the relationships with men that Mr Perlman hinted about having - does his mum know about that part of his life? 2) Elio is asking if she knows about the relationship with Oliver and Mr Perlman lies to put less trouble on Elio’s mind, after everything he’s going through in that moment. 3) They truly wanted to keep the scene as close to the book as possible, so left it in there for the audience to decide what it means.
But if it was in the context of how Elio asks it in the book - does she know about his relationship with Oliver? - then I just don’t see how Mr Perlman can’t know that she knows. Or that Elio can’t work it out, for example, when she tells him she thinks Oliver likes him more. If anyone else has any ideas or understanding of it - let me know! I’m off to see the film again now so I’ll let you know if my view changes later :)