Carol review: a raw and real love story from the 1950s.

Font Size:

Carol is a love story.

Therese (Rooney Mara) is a department store shopgirl in the early 1950s who hasn’t quite come into her own yet. Carol (Cate Blanchett) is charming, composed and wanders about blanketed in melancholy. She’s in the middle of a divorce with a man who wants her back. When the two women’s eyes meet across the room, a love story is set in motion.

Carol, decked out in red lipstick and a thick fur coat, is looking for a Christmas gift for her daughter. She lays down her gloves on the countertop and asks Therese what she dreamed of having when she was four years old. Therese, wearing a Santa hat, with a wall of dolls on display behind her, says she wanted a train set. So Carol orders one for her daughter. After providing her delivery address, Carol departs, leaving behind an enchanted Therese – and her gloves.

Therese, perhaps out of consideration – or driven by some other motivation – leaves the house late one night, boyfriend asleep in her bed, to post the gloves back to Carol. And, so, the two are connected. And Carol takes Therese out for lunch, just to thank her.

The characters are complex and beautifully played. Rooney Mara is both doe-eyed and submissive, while managing to be observant and poised. Cate Blanchett is a wonderful combination of elegance and confidence, mixed with a deep-set discontent. And, ever, behind the eyes of both women, hangs an appeal for love and connection.

Viewers are dragged into the world of the film through its rich detail: Carol’s thick fur coat weighs down on your shoulders; Therese’s drags on lipstick-stained cigarettes burn in your throat; and their magnetic gazes, full of intimacy, are held for a moment too long and make you want to avert your eyes.

The script is pretty close to perfect, with beautifully crafted and powerfully delivered lines. The music complements the indulgent, dreamy style of the cinematography.

The commentary on both homosexuality in the 1950s and the power imbalance between men and women are subtle. Carol’s husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) uses their daughter as leverage to try to control Carol and force her to do what he wants. 

Carol isn’t a film about two women daring to fly against convention to have a love affair. It’s a love story between two people who are longing to find their place in the world.

The final scene is a pivotal moment in almost every film – not just to the story but to the viewer, who’s been invested in the characters and seeks a final return. Carol gives this with both hands open, offering a few of the most precious and raw seconds of the whole film – ones that linger after you’ve risen from your seat and stumbled, blinkingly, out into the world. 

Carol is up for number of Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Todd Haynes), Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) and Best Supporting Actress (Rooney Mara).

This movie deserves a solid score of 7/10. 

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

Join
By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

Written by ameliath

1 Comments

Total Comments: 1
  1. 0
    0

    Gee, not much interest here.


FACEBOOK COMMENTS



SPONSORED LINKS

continue reading

Finance

CHOICE tips to take charge of 2021

Have you made a resolution to be better with money this year? After 2020, many of us could probably do...

Lifestyle

The rules and the telltale signs that you're too old to drive

Approaching the subject of giving up driving due to age can be difficult for all involved. While driving offers independence,...

Wellbeing

The dos and don'ts of lifting weights if you're older

If you're to believe what you see on social media, only the young and super fit lift weights. This, unfortunately,...

COVID-19

Pfizer vaccine safe despite Norwegian deaths, say health authorities

Is the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe? Health minister Greg Hunt is assuring Australians it is after it was reported that...

Lifestyle

Great things about ageing - as Dawn French says 'it's not for wusses'

A lot of people fear growing older but, if you ask us, the ageing process brings some great benefits, too...

Finance News

The top five things this leading economist thinks will happen in 2021

Saying the year 2020 wasn't a great one for the economy is a bit of an understatement. Shops shuttered, businesses...

Health news

Scientists closer to developing 'smart' stem cells made from human fat

Much controversy has surrounded stem cell research, and yet therapies and treatments involving stem cells have the capacity to treat...

Wellbeing

Top 2021 new year's resolutions revealed

We may be halfway through January, but it's not too late to make a new year's resolution. "It’s human nature...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...