April 3, 2016
Director: Todd Haynes
Cast: Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson
Runtime: 118 minutes
AFI Awards: Movie of the Year; Australian Film Institute: Best Actress, Cate Blanchett; 54 other award wins, 206 award nominations, including 8 Oscar nominations.
“Haynes crafts a tender, devastating romance but also surveys a battleground of power and control.” – Isabel Stevens, Sight and Sound
In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel, “The Price of Salt,” Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York.
As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage.
As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light.
Carol is a casting coup, with Blanchett’s inherent languor—her low drawl, a breath away from boredom—played off against the perter intelligence of Mara, whose manner is caught between the alien and the bird-like.
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.