November 23, 2015

Carol (2015)

Carol (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by: Todd Haynes
Country: USA

Movie Review: Directed by the highly regarded Todd Haynes, “Carol” is a stylish drama, dazzlingly shot on Super 16-mm film, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1953 celebrated novel, “The Price of Salt”, and starring the mighty Cate Blanchett and the adroit Rooney Mara as two New Yorkers who engage in a homosexual relationship in the 50’s. Phyllis Nagy was in charge of the screenplay, which provides a flawless narrative to express the pleasures and commotions in the relationship between Carol Aird (Blanchett), a married high-class woman who’s about to divorce her overwhelmingly persistent husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler), and Therese Belivet (Mara), a young department store clerk whose modesty and innocence confer her a sweet graciousness. Both women deal with a painful loneliness, but when in the company of each other, they seem to find what any men couldn’t give them so far. The elegant Carol is far more experienced, and even before her failed marriage, she had a solid lesbian affair with her friend, Abby (Sarah Paulson), who currently remains her reliable confidante. The center of her afflictions isn’t what the conservative society might say about her sexual adventures but rather facing the possibility of not seeing her little daughter anymore due to Harge’s claim of full custody of the child based on immoral behavior. Consumed by jealousy, the latter even hires a private detective to carry forward his intentions. In opposition, Therese is an untouched solitary who keeps hesitating when men try to approach her, including the unsympathetic Richard (Jake Lacy) who says he loves her and wants to move in with her. Boosted by an irresistible attraction, both women set off on a trip to the West coast, but Carol’s familiar pressures oblige her to return, interrupting the ardent love she was living. Cate Blanchett, who had previously worked with Mr. Haynes when she embodied Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There”, is brilliant as the sophisticated lady, while Rooney Mara can be slushy sometimes in her wobbly insecurity, but managed to play her role harmoniously. Consistently supported by the well-cared production values and the eye of Mr. Edward Lachman, his regular cinematographer, Mr. Haynes moves effortlessly, always attentive to details (Blanchett’s hands and posture are pretty noticeable), and preferring sober sex scenes than explicitly raw approaches such as those adopted in Gaspar NoĆ©’s “Love” or Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Color”.

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