Stars: Cate Blanchett / Rooney Mara / Kyle Chandler /
Release Date: 2015-11-20
Production Companies: Killer Films, Film4, Number 9 Films,
Director: Todd Haynes, Belle Francisco,
In 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.
This is a slender movie that Haynes gives plenty of antique atmosphere.
Haynes taps into universal anxieties about love and relationships without ever letting go of the sense of imprisonment that came with being gay in the 1950s.
Haynes maintains the film's temperature at a low simmer and expertly brings it to the boil, but while "Carol" builds to a scene of intense eroticism, it's mostly about all the things you can't reach out and touch.
This is about two people who didn't know what their lives were until they met each other, then scrambling, in their muted, buttoned-up way, to figure out what happens next. Haynes loves them so much that he believes they can. You will too.
As a love story this left me unsatisfied, though I enjoyed the lush period trappings and the flattering sense of how enlightened I am compared to people in the 1950s.