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Carol

This is yet another outstanding film from Todd Haynes. The film is an adaptation of a lesbian fiction novel from the 1950’s. Cate Blanchette plays Carol, a wife and mother who meets Therese (played by Rooney Mara) at the department store at which Therese works. The depth and implications of their attraction is explored over the course of the film. The film works beautifully for several reasons. Similar to his work in Far From Heaven, Haynes captures the look and feel of a film set in the 1950’s but that has a message that feels very contemporary – to be able to be yourself in spite of social pressures to do otherwise. To me, the film is the “lesbian pulp novels” given a beautiful, emotional, and human life; both characters portray themselves as similar characters have lived in those pages, finding ways to explore love when their “love could have no name”. The film is exquisite to look; Haynes has a knack for capturing a certain mood in every scene, especially in the close-up shots of faces and the grainy appearances in many of the scenes. And the acting – wow, Blanchette and Mara each give very different and complex performances; both are clearly Oscar-worthy (the other performances are wonderful as well). Big thumbs up from me for a film that is expertly directed and acted and is, in my opinion, an example of artistry in filmmaking. (2015, 5 stars).

About Gary Burkholder

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