A love story between two women in the 50’s, “Carol” is a story delivered with with great modesty and subtlety, but which might leave puzzled at the end of film.
This is the story of a taboo, a forbidden love in the 50’s America between two opposing women by their ages & their social lives. There is Therese on one side, a young saleswoman in NYC toyshop & Carol, an American bourgeois who wants to buy a gift for her daughter.
You have a script that makes sense, that is simple and manage to describe a story that would be common today, but that was scandalous at that time.
The actresses’ performance are on point. Cate Blanchett is stunning as devoted mother, as a wife, in a pending divorce and as a woman in the torments about her feelings for Therese. It is much easier to have empathy for Carol than Therese whose interest for Carol seems to be something else than a misunderstood love, but instead a will to be who Carol is or have what Carol possesses. Rooney Mara acted that part very well, but the character still remains really annoying. She doesn’t know what she wants, she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but she actually does the opposite.
The movie was shot in such a way that gives you the feeling that it was made with a camera made in the 50’s. I had the feeling of watching people’s life without having the right to do so. And it is reinforced by some scenes shot behind a window or a glass. It made me feel uncomfortable. The soundtrack composed by Carter Burwell emphasizes this feeling by making a much more heavier atmosphere than it actually was. Homosexuality in the 50’s was a real scandolousthing, but the soundtrack was too much dramatic for this film and made you believe that something really awful was about to happen.
This film is a great production and there is a reason to its many nominations (four Golden Globes and six Academy Awards nominations) and awards including Best Actress award at last Cannes Film Festival for Rooney Mara. As myself, I wasn’t completely embarked by this story…
image source: Film4