Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in a tale of forbidden love in 1950s America
Critics are tipping the newly released Carol as sure-fire award-winning material. And they might be right. This richly woven story of a young, naïve shop girl Therese Belivet and the haughty, wealthy housewife Carol she falls in love with is based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Price of Salt. So risqué was the idea of a lesbian love story at the time – it was published the same year that the American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a mental disorder – it had to be released under a pseudonym.
Brought to the big screen by director Todd Haynes - he of Far From Heaven fame – the film stars Cate Blanchett in the titular role as Carol who locks eyes with Rooney Mara’s Therese across a crowded shop floor in pre-Christmas rush. After much procrastination (read: lots of lingering glances) they embark on a love affair. To complicate matters, Carol is in the process of an acrimonious divorce from her controlling husband who threatens to expose her relationship and gain sole custody of their young daughter.
Beautifully shot, with a nostalgic soundtrack that will have you weeping into your sleeves, this is a film that simultaneously breaks the heart and yet restores your faith in the idea that love conquers all.