CAROL ★★★★★

Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel “The Price of Salt”, Todd Haynes (FAR FROM HEAVEN, MILDRED PIERCE) has directed another fantastic, beautiful film about outsiders in the world. This time, the setting is 1950’s New York and the main characters are two women who fall in love. Therese (Rooney Mara) meets Carol (Cate Blanchett) when she sells Carol a trainset for daughter at a department store. From the moment Carol first lays eyes on Therese, there is instant fascination and undeniable attraction between them. They soon meet more often and their relationship deepens but as it deepens, Carol’s relationship with her soon to be ex-husband (Kyle Chandler) becomes more strained and soon becomes scared that she may lose her young daughter because of Carol’s relationship with Therese.

Everything about this film is perfect, from the performances to the passionate story to the details in the set and the costumes. There can be no fault found in this film. It is a film so rich in emotions and beauty. Blanchett gives one of the best performances to date as the strong yet vulnerable Carol, as does Mara. Both actresses have this magnetic chemistry on screen that resonates. Even the details to the way they just move their hair or smoke a cigarette is utterly hypnotic. From start to finish, every detail, every set piece, every costume is so perfectly designed to fit the story and the time period. Edward Lachman, who has been Haynes’ cinematographer since FAR FROM HEAVEN for all his projects, helps to make every scene look immaculate. Haynes deserves most of the credit for this film, making it all come together in one gorgeous piece of cinematic art that will take your breath away.

by Russell Boaz

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