A-Z Movie Reviews: ‘Carol’

Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews.  Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection.  How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z).  Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection but this is mine so don’t judge me.  This is simply for fun.

I feel a little like with last week and this week’s A-Z Movie Reviews I followed a bit of a theme.  Last week I wrote about Call Me By Your Name which was the story of two men falling in love with each other and this week I’m talking about Carol which is the story of two women falling in love with each other.  That is just coincidentally how my movies are organized.

I have had this movie in my collection for a while, but this was my first time watching it.  I am a big fan of Rooney Mara and I also like Cate Blanchett as well, so this was the perfect time to watch.

What it is about:

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

Based on the book by Patricia Highsmith, writing under the pseudonym of Claire Morgan, Carol is a story about falling love and the lengths we are willing to go for it. 

Therese Belivet (Mara) is a quiet young girl with dreams of becoming a professional photographer.  One day while working in a department store, a woman named Carol Aird (Blanchett) comes in to purchase a Christmas present for her daughter Rindy.  From the moment the two meet, you can tell that there is something happening.

Their relationship to any outsider could appear to be just a simple friendship but in their quiet moments, it is clear that more is developing between the two.  Both women find some common ground in the fact that they both have men in their lives who cannot seem to let go.  Carol is going through a divorce from her husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) and Therese is losing the connection she once had with her boyfriend Richard (Jake Lacy).  Therese comes to the realization that she wants to be with Carol because she makes her feel alive in a way that no man has ever done.

Therese and Carol’s relationship is not without its complications.  Because Carol’s husband wants her back, he pursues an injunction to gain full custody of their daughter based on a morality clause because she is a lesbian.  Carol loves her daughter more than life itself, so she leaves Therese while they are on a road trip to stop that from happening.  She tells Therese they can no longer see each other, or she will lose her daughter.

The two are separated for quite some time and when they reunite, it is clear that Therese is in a different place.  She is more mature and has become a photographer for the New York Times.  I will not say anymore because now I know you’re curious to know how it turns out.

The Oscar Buzz: Birthday Take: Rooney Mara in "Carol" (2015)

I’m going to be honest, the film was a little slow to me, but I still enjoyed it.  Rooney Mara has so much range (See The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which I will be reviewing here at some point as well) and I just love her.  She is one of my favorite actresses and I am always impressed by her performances.   She brought such a quiet innocence to Therese and then so much confidence later.  We all know Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress as well.  Both women are extremely talented and if you are a fan, I recommend checking this one out.

Other Thoughts

  • The second this movie started, and I heard the music, I knew Carter Burwell had done the score.  He is one of my favorite composers and has done so many amazing film scores especially for Twilight.
  • Therese’s manager or whatever the hell she was, was such a bitch.  Seriously, I do not know why she was always so rude.
  • I felt for Harge and Richard because they were in love with Carol and Therese and could not understand them not wanting to be with either one of them.
  • It was messed up of Harge to take Rindy away from Carol no matter how upset he was.
  • Having your wife see a psychotherapist because you think she is mentally ill for loving women is super messed up.
  • Never trust a noisy salesman

Carol is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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