Carol is the latest movie from independent filmmaker Todd Haynes, whose previous works of period-piece fiction include the 1970s glam-rock fable Velvet Goldmine and 2007’s biographical drama I’m Not There. The latter movie featured a grand total of six different actors in the role of 1960s singer-songwriter and counter-cultural icon Bob Dylan.
In Haynes’ new film, former Bob Dylan imitator Cate Blanchett steps into the role of Carol Aird – from The Talented Mr. Ripley author Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt” – for a story that depicts the relationship between a young shop girl (played by Rooney Mara) and Blanchett’s older, married woman.
In the first trailer for Carol (featured above), 1950s New York City is depicted as a glamorous, bourgeois playground in which Blanchett and Mara flirt coyly under the seductive disguise of a poshly conservative decorum. Underneath their seeming coquettish conformity of dress and style, however, lurks an intimacy and tenderness of feeling for one another – something both Highsmith’s source book and Haynes’ film adaptation explore in greater depth.
Haynes has never been shy from tackling projects that explore the repressed desires and emotional secrets of characters in period dramas, having previously worked in settings ranging from 1950s Connecticut suburbia (Far from Heaven) to Depression-era California (his award-winning Mildred Pierce mini-series) and, of course, the counter-cultural backdrop of Velvet Goldmine. Like Haynes’ previous films and Highsmith’s other novels, Carol uses a very specific time in history to examine the torment of two human souls forced to pretend that they are something which they are not (in what could be a very moving drama, by the look of it).
With Carol, Blanchett looks to have taken on another role wherein her innate talent for subtly of character and a deep soulfulness may be fully utilized. Likewise, after her recent performances in such independent dramas as Spike Jonze’s Her and Steven Soderbergh’s psychological-thriller Side Effects, Mara comes to her role in Hayne’s new film with enough dramatic grounding to breathe believability and sympathy into yet another complicated character.
So far, Carol has proven quite popular with critics, following its showing at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Variety‘s Justin Chang, for example, calls the movie “an exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story… [featuring] filmmaking craft of the most sophisticated yet accessible order,” while THR‘s Todd McCarthy calls the film “absorbing and beautifully craft but also a bit studied.” Overall, though, it sounds like Carol should be getting its fair share of attention during the impending awards season rush.
will open in select U.S. theaters on November 20th, 2015.
Source: Studio Canal UK
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