Cert: 15 Runtime: 118 mins Director: Todd Haynes Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Pulson, Jake Lacy and Kyle Chandler
Some people change your life forever
Todd Haynes is one of the gems in film making community. Carol is his latest venture and it has been ringing in the film communities ear for a while. It has been on my radar for some months now and it was worth the wait. This was a film that was labelled as the lesbian film of 2015. You can clearly see this is a film about love. I do hope that it does get a good audience and the stigma disappears. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s book of the same title Carol is the story of Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department store. The two women develop a fast bond that becomes a love with complicated consequences.
This is a cinematic master-class from Todd Haynes I haven’t seen such a perfectly made film in a very long time. The framing, score, lens, cinematography, editing, sound mixing and acting are phenomenal. This is a film about love not being gay. You go through Carol connecting with the character, we have all experienced love and all it’s toils in our life. It really hits the heart at some moments and Haynes does not emphasise the hardship of being gay in the 1950’s. It’s the journey of a young woman finding her feet in life and Carol finding happiness that she deserves. Haynes never highlights the build up of the friendship of the girls, you have to observe it yourself. There is a lot going on in each shot and a keen eye is needed. Carol is mainly conveyed through looks and innuendo this is what makes it interesting. We are continuously wondering what are they thinking? do they know they like each other? It’s utterly gripping.
Cate Blanchett’s performance as Carol is nothing but stellar, honestly I couldn’t think of a better casting. She is so strong, free spirited but she can convey her tender side well too. She has gone through a lot in her life to get to the stage she is at when she meets Therese. Clearly she just wants to be happy, but her marital issues are holding her back. Rooney Mara had a lot more work in her character she’s fragile, naive and sweet. But she is a very sheltered character so we have a lot more facially expressive performance from Rooney. Mara is very selective of her films and I am utterly delighted she went for Carol. The chemistry between them is electrifying and I think we all can agree award nominations are coming. Kyle Chandler and Sarah Pulson give great supporting roles too, it’s not the two dimensional characters we normally see in a drama. Carol is by far one of the best films of the year and I would encourage anyone with a love of cinema to watch it. It’s not for everyone but it’s worth a risk.