Synopsis: Read on IMDB
An adaptation from the 1952 book The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith; Carol is the love story between Therese Belivent, a young aspiring photographer, and Carol Aird, a soon to be divorced mother of one. The tale unfolds with the backdrop of 1950s America, a time of intolerance for anyone being gay.
Starring Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as Therese, the film strength is in the powerful performances of these two wonderful actresses. Blanchett’s Carol is a woman who is well aware of how society views homosexuality and yet she is very comfortable with who she is and what she wants. She plays this character with sophistication and subtlety, a great contrast to Mara’s character, a young, inexperienced, and innocent Therese. Putting the latter performance in context with her other, usually darker roles, it does add a power to this one. Both of them have received accolades, including Oscar nominations in leading and supporting actress categories.
The film also includes performances by Kyle Chandler as Carol’s husband Harge and the always amazing Sarah Paulson as Carol’s confident and former paramour Abby Gerhard. However, the large majority of screentime is devoted to Carol and Therese. Performances aside, the movie’s pace is incredibly slow. Some parts felt extremely monotonous and for an almost 2-hour film, it is a big deal. This is definitely not a movie for the masses, for sure. The themes are very important and the love story very beautifully told, I personally felt there was an element of emotion / passion missing. I don’t mean in the form of more intimate scenes between the couple, but something that would make us care more about these characters.
What is strange to me is when looking at the individual elements it’s been nominated for (costume design, adapted screenplay, original score, cinematography, and of course, the acting ones) you can see it’s a truly deserved recognition, yet as a whole, it misses a certain wow factor. In many ways, the subtleties may have not worked in the movie’s favor