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Carol

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Carol is a delicately beautiful and heartbreakingly mournful period romance. Director Todd Haynes and screenwriter Phyllis Nagis adapt Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt into an entrancing portrayal of hidden love, frustrated desire and broken people glancing off each other. As would-be lovers Carol Aird and Therese Belivet, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are never less than utterly engaging. Blanchett has a sublime ability to merge strength with fragility, which makes Carol something of an ideal role for her. Mara conveys both wide-eyed innocence and growing experience as the relationship progresses. Judy Becker’s exquisite production design not only creates the necessary period detail but also serves to create a mise-en-scene of entrapment, both protagonists enclosed by societal as well as familial demands. DOP Edward Lachman lenses much of the film in soft focus, adding to the melancholy longing of the characters. It would be so easy for a film of forbidden love to overextend into crude melodrama, but Haynes utilises restraint and subtlety to express the anguish of his characters, with looks, gestures and careful framing suggesting as much as they explicate. Carter Burwell’s score is similarly suggestive, drawing the viewer along and sweeping them up when necessary. Overall, Carol is that finest of cinematic finds – a gem where all elements operate in near perfect harmony.

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4 Comments

  1. […] I have only managed to see one of the films nominated in the category Best Actress. That film is Carol, which I liked very much, and in which Cate Blanchett was her usual wonderful self. It is debatable […]

  2. […] Supporting Actress I have seen, Rooney Mara has a wonderfully subtle yet sad sweetness about her in Carol, making her arc soulful and heartbreaking. Rachel McAdams in Spotlight is a solid and sympathetic […]

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