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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

Carol


Carol is romantic. Wait, that's too simple; maybe capitalize the "R" and add that the film's romance is suffused with a rich blend of sight, sound, story, and atmosphere.
It's the holiday season in early 1950s New York. The nostalgic filter, the color palette that emphasizes greens and creams, the clothing, and the leisurely pace evoke our warm recollection of the simple perfection of the Eisenhower Era. The moral code of the time is not simple perfection, just perfectly simple: conform to society's norms, a dictate that forces some to live a lie. A young department store clerk named Therese (Rooney Mara) meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), a striking older woman who is shopping in the toy department for her daughter's Christmas present. The magnetism is immediate if subtle; the attraction palpable if reserved. That's how their relationship develops, each woman working through the obstacles presented by her own life: Therese wants a career as a photographer even as her boyfriend pushes her to go to Europe with him; Carol heading for a divorce from a husband (Kyle Chandler) who resents her lack of affection.
Credit Director Todd Haynes and his leading ladies that the film never portrays its characters as lurid or lustful. They fall in love, and it is natural and real. Cate Blanchett is regal, yet vulnerable, a soul in pain, yearning to be a good mother and live her life honestly. Rooney Mara (who seems like the reincarnation of a young Audrey Hepburn) is innocent, yet brave, as she seeks to discover her identity.
The film was nominated for a slew of awards, including six Oscars. Mara, who won Best Actress at the Cannes is really a co-lead in Carol, and it is category fraud that the was placed in the Supporting Actress category. Blanchett, as always, is Blanchett, arguably the top actress working today. It was also up for Adapted Screenplay, (from the novel, The Price of Salt), and its nominations for Cinematography, Costume Design, and Original Score attest to the aforementioned overall beauty of the film.

8 out of 10

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