Chalamet turned in fantastic performances in not one but two TIFF standout films — Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. Already the darling of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Guadagnino’s film about the beauty and heartache of first love continues to gain steam on its way to awards season — and it’s thanks in no small part to the film’s beating heart, 17-year-old Elio, played by 21-year-old Chalamet.
Chalamet perfectly captures Elio’s incisive intelligence and insecurity. Opposite Armie Hammer, who plays his 24-year-old love interest, Oliver, Elio gives next-level looks of longing as he watches his crush get handsy with a girl on the dance floor. He broodily strums a guitar poolside, trying to get Oliver to glance his way just for a second. And then, of course, there’s the erotic peach scene. I won’t ruin it for you, but trust me: Chalamet nails it.
In Lady Bird, Chalamet visits the opposite end of the emotional spectrum as Kyle, an emotionally aloof high school musician who refuses to get a cell phone. Impossibly cool and with a book perpetually in hand, Kyle hasn’t given someone a longing look in his life. That's precisely what makes him irresistible to Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan). Chalamet is admittedly much more winning as Elio, but it’s impressive that he can pull off equally convincing performances as both a lovesick teen and a teenage dirtbag within the same film festival. —Keely Flaherty