Review of Carol

Carol (2015)
Looks and Stares
3 December 2017
Romance blossoms between a wealthy, middle aged woman and an open-minded younger woman in this lusciously filmed drama set during the 1950s. While both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are effective in their respective roles, the most interesting aspect of 'Carol' is the near ignorance of everyone else to the possibility of the pair being in love. More than half an hour passes before Blanchett's husband questions how Mara knows her and director Todd Haynes does wonders keeping the mutual attraction between the pair subtle. Much is communicated simply through looks and stares without the need for explicit romantic moments or obvious dialogue. This subdued approach in turns makes Blanchett's more emotional moments in the second half of the film more powerful as she comes against a "morality clause" in her impending divorce proceedings. Certain aspects of both female protagonists are left uncomfortably murky - most notably, the suggestion that Blanchett might have a history of seducing younger women. Both characters are generally well fleshed out though as they are torn between the hearts' desires and being what everyone else expects them to be. Carter Burwell provides an enchanting music score that perfectly complements the proceedings and the memorable final scene is a testament to the ability of images to convey more than words.
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