Time: 118 Minutes
Age Rating: Sex Scenes, Offensive Language and Nudity
Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird
Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet
Sarah Paulson as Abby Gerhard
Kyle Chandler as Harge Aird
Jake Lacy as Richard Semco
Director: Todd Haynes
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.
Carol already had my attention when I heard that my two favourite actresses, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett, were both going to be in the same movie. It had a lot of hype, despite it not winning many of the awards that it was nominated for. After finally seeing Carol I have to say that it is truly one of the best movies of 2015. Todd Haynes’s excellent direction and attention to detail mixed with the great performances from Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett makes this an incredible movie.
One thing I heard about this movie before going into it is that the romance is much more subtle than in other movies. That’s definitely the case and I thought it was extremely well done, however it wasn’t just the romance that was subtle. The acting and direction allows you to clearly see how the characters are feeling, without too much dialogue needed to get their emotions across. Also you might initially think from the plot summary that a big part of the movie is focussed on how gay people weren’t exactly able to see each other in the 1950s but it smartly focussed more on the actual romance between Carol and Therese, which helped us get pulled even more into the story, if that aspect was included it could’ve taken away the immersement of the love story. This is the first film I’ve seen from Todd Haynes, and after seeing Carol, I really want to see his other movies.
The acting is excellent from everyone. Cate Blanchett is as usual excellent in one of her best performances yet, and that’s saying a lot considering her performances like in Elizabeth and Blue Jasmine. Another great performance which is often overlooked in this movie is by Rooney Mara. Despite Mara being placed often in Best Supporting Actress in many award ceremonies, the movie is really Therese’s story. She arguably has the hardest job of any of the actors in this movie, a lot of her emotions you get from her eyes, which really is the sign of a great actor. Both of them share great chemistry, there was no moment where I doubted the love between Carol and Therese. The supporting actors also added quite a bit with actors like Sarah Paulson and Kyle Chandler but its Mara and Blanchett’s film.
Usually with period piece movies, there’s some aspect that doesn’t feel natural with the time period and kind of takes me out of the movie. In the case of Carol however, it puts you right into the 50s with the excellent production design and costumes, which are both things that I don’t usually notice in most films. Todd Haynes’s attention to detail is great and can be clearly seen here. The soundtrack from Carter Burwell was great as well, and helps fit in with the tone that they were going for. By that I noticed that this film almost had some sort of hypnotising effect, and it helped as this movie really felt like a journey with these characters.
Carol is one of the best movies of 2015, it’s such a shame that it didn’t get as much recognition as it should have. Its excellent performances, the great love story and the production value makes this an amazing movie. I’m not sure if it’s my number 1 favourite movie of the year but I’ll just say that the other movies I gave a 10/10 this year at least had some sort of flaw. With Carol though, I can’t find anything wrong with this movie, everything felt complete and I loved it. Check this movie out as soon as possible.