An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.
*** (out of 4)
An older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett) strikes up a friendship with a young store clerk (Rooney Mara) and soon their relationship takes a turn towards the romantic side, which could cause custody issues with Carol's husband (Kyle Chandler).
Todd Haynes' latest film isn't the greatest of his career but it's another beautiful looking film that manages to get two wonderful performances from the lead actresses. A lot of hype went around for this film and for the most part I thought the movie was entertaining, although, as I said, it falls a bit short of being a great movie due to a few flaws throughout. Still, if you're a fan of great performances and costume dramas there's plenty here to enjoy.
There's no question that the greatest thing going are the performances with both Blanchett and Mara turning in wonderful work. Blanchett is simply amazing no matter what she does so it should come to no shock that she manages to nail this character perfectly. There are all sorts of emotions that the actress must play and I think she nails all of them. Mara has the more quiet performance and must do a lot of acting with just her eyes. The naive aspects of the young character is something Mara perfectly brings to the screen. Chandler is also extremely good whenever he's on the screen.
Another major plus is the actual look of the film. The terrific cinematography perfectly captures the wonderful set design. The look of the film is quite flawless and you really do feel as if you're in the 1950s. Not only do the sets look terrific but so do the costumes. I live around where this film was shot and there's no question that Hollywood was able to transform the area into something of the past.
Again, I don't think CAROL is flawless and I think the weakest aspect is the story itself. The story never really grabbed me and I must admit that I didn't think it was anything overly powerful. The lesbian sex scene was quite erotic for sure but I really didn't feel the emotional connection to make the film better.
- Jan 25, 2016