Carol is a period piece about two women, drawn to each other, and eventually lovers in 1950s New York City. Nominated for six Academy Awards, the performances of Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett shine in this brilliant adaption of Patricia Highsmith’s classic, The Price of Salt.
In this tale of a tumultuous relationship, Rooney Mara’s Therese plays a confused young woman who seeks love in an older woman she meets at work. She is my favorite part of this movie, as she struggles to find herself while losing herself in other people. Cate Blanchett’s Carol plays an older woman trying to keep custody of her child while also trying to find love. The two tasks get harder and harder to accomplish as they both intersect and cause potential problems. Carol must deal with devotion to another woman, growing love for Therese, and battles with her ex-husband.
Although slow, this film is beautiful and well acted. The two leads are electric and steal every scene they find themselves in. In essence it is a film about two women, trying to come to grips with the situation they find themselves other in. Finding each other helped them cope with deep feelings left unaddressed in a society that explicitly banned expressing them. Carol is a beautiful and touching film that examines the need for human connection and companionship even in a time where such companionship is deemed illegal.
The score and soundtrack for this film are one of my favorites, and the score chosen for end scene will make you weepy. Never mind the ambiguous fade to black. It’s a truly lovely ending. Still I would argue that it can mean different things to different people. Throughout the course of their relationship it can be argued that although they had chemistry, their relationship could be viewed as problematic. Not because they are gay, but because Carol has such a hold on the quiet Therese that she only really found her niche after Carol left. Even Carol comments that she looks so much better, and asks if that’s what happens when she leaves. Therese grew up and became a better character when she was alone because she found her own voice instead of people talking for her. So depending on how you personally feel about the relationship will affect how you feel about the ending. Still the movie is a dramatic and emotional piece with impressive performances by its two powerhouse female leads.
Amy’s Recommendation: 8/10