Thursday, 3 December 2015

Carol (4 Stars)

This is my second film with a Christmas theme in two days, after "Everly" yesterday. It's an accident, I swear! I'm not in the festive spirit at all.

The film begins in December 1951. Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) is doing a temporary job in the toy department of a department store in New York. An older woman, Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), comes in to buy a Christmas present for her daughter. Carol forgets her gloves when she leaves. Therese mails them to her, and a friendship begins between the two women. This friendship develops into a lesbian affair. The problem is that Carol is in the middle of a divorce from her husband. They had previously agreed on joint custody of their daughter, but when the husband finds out about his wife's affair he demands sole custody, claiming his wife is leading a life of immorality.

The film has a slightly fuzzy picture throughout, which gives the cinematography a warm feeling. As one of my friends from the film club pointed out, the film has a lot of scenes with someone looking through a steamed up car window on a rainy day. Rooney Mara's performance is compelling as the naive young girl swept up into something she doesn't really understand. Cate Blanchett is just as perfect in her performance, but her character is alienating at times when she acts like an overbearing mother figure to Therese.

Addendum on Thursday, 3rd December, 2015

I just read that yesterday was the New York Film Critics Awards ceremony. "Carol" won four awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay. This means it's also a strong contender for next year's Academy Awards.

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