Carol

Carol

(2015)

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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Flicks Review

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


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 13 ratings, 6 reviews
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BY DanielK superstar

For the longest time my experience of Carol was less immersion and more admiration at the craft that had gone into fashioning such a beautiful object. The evocation of another world is faultless, from the wood-panelled department stores to the smokey upstairs parties which are veritably begging for the impending arrival of rock'n roll. Cinematography, set design, the beautiful lead performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara - the whole shebang is virtually edible, but although I was... More enjoying looking at it, I just wasn’t feeling it.

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


BY Red superstar

This is a good story told by by one today's best filmmakers - enthralling drama, highly recommended.


Exquisite. Filled to the brim with raw, aching emotion and desire. Just perfect in every way.


BY JackWallace superstar

Beautifully crafted and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are fantastic, but I probably won't ever watch Carol again. It's quite slow, I didn't enjoy it that much. Grade: B-


BY KimLewis lister

A great romance movie - Blanchett and Rooney both giving wonderful performances and the film is well paced and engaging.


Showing 5 of 6 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

93% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Every glance means something, no strain shows: it’s filmmaking as natural as breathing. Full Review

  • Gestures, looks and touches carry enormous weight, and Blanchett and Mara, both excellent, invite micropscopic readings of their every glance and movement. Full Review

  • Carol is gorgeous, gently groundbreaking, and might be the saddest thing you’ll ever see. Full Review

  • It is a creamily sensuous, richly observed piece of work, handsomely detailed and furnished... Full Review

  • Even high expectations don’t quite prepare you for the startling impact of Carol, an exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story... Full Review

  • Mara and Blanchett make for an unforgettable couple in a beautiful film about longing, loss and the confusion and wonder of love. Full Review

  • As its bravura filmmaking unfolds, those specifics fade and what remains are the feelings and emotions that all the best movie love stories create. And make no mistake, "Carol" belongs in that group. Full Review

  • At once ardent and analytical, cerebral and swooning... a study in human magnetism, in the physics and optics of eros. A symphony of angles and glances, of colors and shadows. Full Review

The Talk
93 %

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