The lesbian romantic drama “Carol” gained Oscar momentum, snagging four key awards from the New York Film Critics Circle last week. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara both give brilliant performances in it.
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 Star
Verdict: 2015 the most beautiful love story movie between two women.
Director: Todd Haynes
Writers: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (Novel)
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson
It takes sixty years long to bring the lesbian story The Price of Salt written by Patricia Highsmith to the big screen. With broad attention and high praise, American independent movie Carol, which is directed by Todd Haynes, has been released on 27th Nov in the UK.
The story is set in 1950s New York. Two women from different background and social class fall in love after meeting occasionally around Christmas. The discussion is about the pressure which people hide their sexual orientation in American society after World War Two. At that time, being homosexual was still treated as forbidden love.
Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara)，a 19-year-old girl, is fond of photographing and works as a clerk in Manhattan department store. One day, Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) walks into and buys a set of toy train as Christmas gift for her daughter, then forgets her gloves on the counter. Therese contacts her and is invited by Carol out to lunch. After that, they come to Carol’s home in New Jersey, spending a not that happy night because of the rough interruption by Carol’s husband Harge (Kyle Chandler). He threatens Carol to take their daughter away if she insist on getting divorced.
To keeping her mind off the misery, Carol escapes on a trip and drives to West with Therese. That makes it looks like a road movie in some way. Many stunning plots and conversations happen inside the car and in the hotel.
They are tracked by Harge’s heeler on the traveling way. That makes Carol have to come back to home and deal the marriage issue with Harge face to face. Carol has to make a difficult choice between her daughter and Therese. Meanwhile, Therese becomes an independent woman and realizes her photographer dream after suffering all these experiences.
Cate Blanchett, especially, somehow leaps over her own highest standards with a subtlety that’s little short of phenomenal and gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this film. The last scene is Carol looks into Therese across the room at a crowded party. With no any words at all, Cate expresses all the comfort, the love, the understandability by her eye contact.
Ronney Mara has tied for the Best Actress at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for ‘Carol’. She successfully interprets a courageous character devoting all to love and growing up rapidly from the frustration.
Todd Haynes is very good at dealing with the feminine emotional pain and makes unhappiness beautiful. He makes the whole picture of this movie in a vintage vision with the dark red and green to express the gingerliness and depth of Carol and Therese’s love. The first scene is as same as a later scene in the end, Carol and Therese are sitting and taking tea there. Until the last part of the movie, audience will suddenly recall their relationship and feel full of emotional thoughts. You will never know how deep-rooted the love was although they keep calm outwardly.
Everyone who experienced a love can understand the sadness and happiness in this film, despite the gender and the class. Because love is just an affair happening between two persons, now as ever. This movie absolutely deserves you spend 120 minutes in the cinema.