Release Date: December 25, 2015
Director: Todd Haynes
Writer: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel “The Price of Salt”)
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, Sarah Paulson, John Magaro, Cory Michael Smith, Kevin Crowley, Nik Pajic, Carrie Brownstein, Trent Rowland, Sadie Heim, Kk Heim, Amy Warner, Michael Haney, Wendy Lardin, Pamela Evans Haynes, Greg Violand, Michael Ward, Kay Geiger, Christine Dye, Deb G. Girdler, Douglas Scott Sorenson, Ken Strunk, Mike Dennis, Ann Reskin
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 118 minutes
Production Company: Number 9 Films, Film4, Killer Films, The Weinstein Company
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: UK, USA
If not winning, Cate Blanchett being at least nominated for an academy award is becoming automatic. Her presence is so pleasant and graceful with every role she takes on. That’s what got me excited for her new film Carol. For a woman to carry so much class, I saw it as a treat to see her in a love story, that some may find desirable. If anyone were able to pull off such a task, it’d be her in an instant. What’s most important is the story that surrounds the cast, because if the material is weak, the performances will easily be overlooked, and not come close to what they were truly destined to be.
That’s certainly the case here. Taking place in the 1950’s Therese is bored with life, and is seduced by Carol Aird. Given Carol is married already, it doesn’t make me root for her character. The story tries to explain that there’s love, and chemistry between the two, but instead Mrs. Aird is a cougar preying on the naive little mind of Therese. There’s no love between them, just an attraction, and an excuse to explore what’s new and different. Both cheat on their lovers that gives you even more reason not to invest yourself. It’s obvious Carol isn’t there for the long run, and even Therese’s boyfriend saw that from a mile away. Other than one night of passion, and a battle for custody, the film holds no weight and is a never ending bore.
There’s no grand performance with Carol Aird’s (Cate Blancett) character, except an average one at best. Not even from Rooney Mara who plays Therese Belivet. There has to be emotion in a performance, and not just fainting eyes of confused lust between parties. That’s all that took place in ‘Carol’ between the two ladies. The acting that I signed up for came, and went in a flash. For a one hundred and eighteen minute film, that exceptional performance I longed for only took up a few moments while lawyers deliberated during a custody hearing. This was the Cate Blanchet I knew, and missed the rest of the film. If only it was for the whole duration, another award winning conversation would be in the air.