Director: Todd Haynes
By Sarah Stopforth
Carol is a love story. Starring two breathtaking performers of their generation, Cate Blanchett (in the title role) and Rooney Mara.
In 1950s New York, a department store sales girl and photographer Therese (Mara) meets Carol, an older woman deep in a hole of a miserable marriage. The two begin to form a bond; they are both terribly intrigued by the aura of one another. A love affair begins between the women, to the detriment of Carol’s custody battle of her young daughter.
Cate Blanchett absolutely slays this role with no mercy. If you thought she was talented before, her performance in this film will blow your mind. I had a slight out-of-body-experience whilst watching her as Carol. Rooney Mara measures up against Blanchett, playing Therese with a delicate, yet powerful subtlety.
Todd Haynes has made something remarkable here. He directed the actors with beauty, strength and grace. Cinematographer, Edward Lachman’s perspective was immeasurably beautiful, shot on Super 16 mm film. This meant that sitting in the front row of a tiny theatre at the Windsor, I could see every grain; every pixel, that made up the bigger picture.
All aspects of this film, including the ‘oldies’ soundtrack used (from Billie Holiday to The Clovers), was perfect. The screenplay addresses the prejudice against gay women in the 1950s in an elegant, emotionally poetic way.
I highly recommend.