Kat Namon ’22
I, like many young women, have taken it upon myself to rank every film starring 24-year-old Oscar nominated actor Timothee Chalamet. Why, may you ask? Because there is way too much time in the day to choose not to do so. Inspiration for this task may very well have come from TikTok, but I’ll never explicitly admit to that. These rankings are based purely on Chalamet’s performance in his respective roles, not on the film as a whole. I would have included Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York, in which Chalamet stars alongside leading ladies Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning, but after spending a considerable amount of time scouring the worldwide web, I could not find the film on any streaming service. Chalamet has since donated his salary from the film due to the controversy surrounding Woody Allen, who was accused of molesting his former partner’s adopted daughter. Chalamet directed his earnings to Time’s Up, The LGBT Center in New York City, and RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), and denounced the director, and stated that he did “not want to profit” from the movie.
Starting with the obvious choice for number one, Chalamet’s performance in the 2017 adaptation of Call Me By Your Name jump-started his career, earned him an Oscar nomination, and aptly characterized him as one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors. The film itself, based on Andre Acimen’s 2009 novel, adheres to the text and tells the story of a summer romance between a 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Chalamet) and graduate student Oliver (Armie Hammer). Chalamet’s choice as an almost anonymous actor to take on a role that many foresaw, including Hammer, as an incredibly challenging task for an actor, further emphasizes that his performance in this film was deserving of all of the praise it received.
Number two was a toss-up because I could not decide if I should rank Beautiful Boy or Call Me By Your Name first, but I decided that the silver medal belonged with Chalamet’s work as Nic Sheff. This is not to say that he didn’t give a shockingly convincing performance as a heroin addict; he was as convincing as one could be. I just view his decision to play Elio as a little riskier than his opportunity to work alongside Steve Carrell, and this factored into my ranking. If you weren’t bawling your eyes out in the corner when Carrell embraced Chalamet in the closing scene of the film, dare I say, you have no soul.
Coming in at number three, we have the Netflix feature from David Michod, The King. Chalamet takes on the role of King Henry V and proves himself capable of playing a role besides a slightly altered version of his own personality, which his other leading characters provide for audiences. Chalamet’s bowl cut may be the only questionable aspect of his performance in this film.
Chalamet blew middle-aged women and their daughters away with his performance in Greta Gerwig’s 2019 take on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women. This film lands at number four for his performances. He plays the part of Saoirse Ronan’s androgynous counterpart, serving as a window into her character Jo’s psyche. The two are attached at the hip for most of the movie, and the actor-actress duo is one that had many viewers fawning over for months after the movie’s release. Chalamet is an expert in the art of playing the scorned-skinny boy, and he accomplishes one of his best renditions as Laurie.
Next, I must give his performance in the lesser-known film—that I could only find on YouTube—Miss Stevens some credit. Although the film as a whole lacked in both plot and meaning, the scene in which Chalamet and leading lady Lily Rabe belt out America’s 1975 classic tune “Sister Golden Hair” was pretty uplifting. Chalamet, yet again, plays the goofy underdog of a high school acting student, and he seems to be playing himself per usual.
Coming in at numbers six and seven are Ladybird and Hot Summer Nights. It may be controversial that I have ranked Ladybird so low, but I must remind you that this is based on Chalamet’s performance in the film, not the film itself. Chalamet’s character Kyle in Ladybird was almost entirely for comic relief and you were meant to hate him, or at least that is how I saw the utterly irritating adolescent boy. He pulled off an angsty-teenaged asshole better than I anticipated from him, but his part in the film was so small that I didn’t think it deserved much praise. As for Hot Summer Nights, this film was pretty bad. The plotline was flimsy as it tried much too hard to be a classic coming of age summer film, but I must say, Chalamet saved whatever was of value in this film because he truly is its only redeeming quality. He yet again plays a confused teen that gets wrapped up in the wrong crowd. Acting confused and bewildered is Chalamet’s specialty, so this worked well for him.
I definitely would have ranked these films differently if I had taken other factors into account besides Chalamet’s performance, but in reality, he played very similar roles in each of the films. Chalamet also has a role in Wes Anderson’s newest film The French Dispatch, which had its release date delayed until 2021. Since we all need more things to look forward to, you can happily add this long-awaited premiere to your list.
Chalamet Fever is real, so I may not be the most reliable source to rank this skinny legend’s performances, as I am much too biased, but regardless, I’m excited to see his next take on the confused adolescent male in science fiction form with his upcoming film Dune.