Romantic drama from Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven) starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, based on the 1952 novel by Patricia Highsmith. Carol was the talk of Cannes 2015, it won Best Actress (Mara) and the Queer Palm award.... More
"In New York in the early 1950s, Therese Belivet (Mara), is working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol Aird (Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a failing marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. When Carol’s involvement with Therese comes to light, Carol's husband retaliates by challenging her competence as a mother. And as Carol and Therese take refuge on the road, leaving their respective lives behind, a confrontation emerges that will test each woman's assumptions about herself and commitments to one another." (Cannes Film Festival)Hide
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BY Matt Glasby Flicks Writer
If something is described as “classy”, so the dictum goes, neither the object, nor the person describing it, actually is. Still, you’d be hard-pushed to talk about Todd (Far From Heaven) Haynes’ latest awards hopeful, based on a 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel (published pseudonymously because of its then-shocking content), without recourse to such a word. Perhaps sophisticated will have to do.... More
As New York socialite Carol, Cate Blanchett is beautifully bored, oozing perfume-advert poise from every perfect pore. As Therese, the shop girl she falls for, Rooney Mara is – comparatively – gawky, but she, too, exhibits an ethereal otherness. She's told she “should be more interested in humans” but can't quite bring herself to engage with the 1950s attitudes around her that seek to keep women in their place.
Carol's in the midst of divorcing dutiful Harge (Kyle Chandler); Therese is all but promised to decent Richard (Jake Lacey). Together they decide to stand apart from society and the men who profess love, but seek to possess them. To say there are dark consequences won't come as too much of a surprise – this is the woman who wrote Strangers On A Train, after all – but mostly the drama is, like Carol, measured and mature. Haynes even steals from the best, borrowing from Brief Encounter, the homage a symbol (in a work that's full of them) of aiming higher than high.
For those seeking an afternoon weepy, the film's poise might be its Achilles heel – we never feel the howl of real heartbreak. But for everyone else, two words will suffice: pure class.Hide
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BY DanielK superstar
It worked away at me though. Late in the piece there’s a key scene (the one with Carol, her husband and their two lawyers) where, all of a sudden, I fell for Carol - both the character and the movie. From that point on director Todd Haynes, Blanchett, Mara et al had me in the palms of their hands. The final sequence is nigh-on-perfect as Haynes abandons the almost-geometric compositions of much of the preceding two hours - restrictive frames and constricting space - and goes all hand-held, placing us with the characters as he leads us to what is hands-down my favourite final shot of the year. To say it had managed to win me over by the end is a massive understatement.
If you watch it (and you should) don’t mistake Carol’s refreshing lack of sentimentality for chilliness or distance - this is heartfelt, passionate stuff delivered with genuine class. It scarcely needs any more praise, but for what it’s worth this is easily one of the year’s best films.Hide
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