Opening with a tracking shot through the streets of New York in the 50s, Carol is reminiscent of Far From Heaven, Todd Haynes’ homage to Douglas Sirk. Carol is shot with the same care and attention to detail.
Around 10 minutes in we see Therese (Rooney Mara) through a steamed up, rain spattered taxi cab window. This was the moment I knew I was going to love the film. It’s stylish and subtle. A beautiful piece of film making.
At the centre of the story is the relationship between two complex characters. Therese is young, happy enough but searching for something more from life. She gains confidence throughout the film and learns what it is she has been seeking. This change in her character also changes the dynamic between the two women. As for Carol, it’s taken me a few days to settle on how I feel about her character. Predatory? Determined? Focused? Yes, all of these things, but where I’ve settled is on the feeling that ultimately she is devastatingly lonely. Trapped in a world where she doesn’t fit in. Forced to play a role that society dictates.
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara should be fighting it out for the best actress accolade come awards season. Both actresses are at the top of their game in these roles. The intensity and fragility in their performances will make your heart break.