Lesbian movies are getting better and more frequent. Lesbian roles seem to be becoming the ‘go-to’ role for the eager Oscar hunting actress, and Carol was no exception, with both it’s stars receiving nominations.
It is a glossy, sultry, period piece with literary heritage. But was it made for lesbians? And should lesbians even bother watching it?
Here, I give my overview of Carol and decide if it is suitable viewing for me: a lesbian.'Carol' is a glossy, sultry, period piece with literary heritage. But was it made for lesbians? And should lesbians even bother watching it? Click To Tweet
Cast And Crew:
- Female Lead? ✔️
I don’t think there is anyone alive on the planet who doesn’t know about Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara’s amazing performances as the leads in this new classic.
- Female Writer? ✔️
Yep. Both the book was written by Patricia Highsmith, an American novelist and short story writer best known for her psychological thrillers (including her series of five novels featuring the character Tom Ripley). The screenplay was by Phyllis Nagy, a theatre and film director, screenwriter and playwright.
- Female Director? ❌
Nope. Nada. No. Carol was directed by Todd Haynes, an openly gay independent film director, screenwriter, and producer.
Summary (From IMDB)
In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, CAROL follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light.
Slow, beautiful, moving… this is set over Christmas but believe me, you won’t want to save this for just once a year. It is a passionate and intense film where both Mara and Blanchet shine in their roles. Their pain is palpable, their struggle to be together is fierce and difficult, and so the ending is far, far stronger as a result.
What the Critics are saying: ★★★★★
CAROL IS A VISUALLY RICH PERIOD DRAMA THAT BOASTS STRONG PERFORMANCES AND REFINED DIRECTION, THOUGH SOME MAY FIND IT EASIER TO ADMIRE THAN LOVE.SANDY SCHAEFER – Screen Rant
Todd Haynes’s 50s-set drama in which Blanchett’s divorcing woman falls for Rooney Mara’s doe-eyed shop assistant is an intoxicating triumphPeter Bradshaw – Guardian
With sparse dialogue and restrained drama, the film is a symphony of angles and glances, of colors and shadows. It gives emotional and philosophical weight to what might be a perfectly banal question: What do these women see each in each other?A.O. Scott – NY Times
What the audience is saying: ★★★★✰
“Beautiful film with superb acting and an engaging story ” – Amazon Customer
“In love with Carol…” – Amazon Customer
“Beautiful and Poignant” – Amazon Customer
- Are there Lesbians? ✔️
Yep! No queerbaiting here! This is a genuine love story between two women.
- Does the Lesbian Live to the end? ✔️
Yes! The two leads make it all the way through, and even a Sarah Paulson side character lives. YAY!
- Does she get the girl? ✔️
I know this is a spoiler, but lets face it: we have been so burned by our shitty anti-LGBT culture that just for our own sanity we need to know these things. So watch the film without dread – they make it.
You’ll like this movie if you like:
Slow burns, long lingering looks, and a smouldering Cate Blanchet.
Should A Lesbian Watch it? YES
Hell yeah. I highly recommend this one! With the original book being written by a lesbian and a gay director taking on the source material, it tackles the issues without making this an ‘issue’ piece. It is a love story first and foremost, and a beautiful love story at that.
If you liked this, then you should definitely read my post looking at five literary movies to see this summer: