Carol (2015) is an adaptation of the novel The Price Of Salt written by Patricia Highsmith. Carol plays out the story between two very different women who have a love affair during 1950 NYC. Rooney Mara plays Therese Belivet who is a young 20-something woman working in a department store in New York. She serves Carol (Cate Blanchett) who she instantly appears to have a connection with. Carol is trapped in a loveless marriage and is intrigued by the youth and naivety of Therese.
From the first scene, the higher presence of Carol is made known through the use of her hands. The way she uses them and angles she places them really portray that she is a powerful woman and this is known to us in the first few moments of the film. She then continues to use her hands as a prop to higher her screen status throughout the film. Most notably, in the way she leaves a glove after her first meeting with Therese which then ignites a further meeting between the two women.
Before watching the film I’d done a bit of research and found that the film received a ten minute standing ovation when it was first premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. I had very high hopes for this film for that reason. I was intrigued at the idea of Cate Blanchett working with Rooney Mara. I LOVE Cate Blanchett but I tolerate Rooney Mara. I never have been overly into her acting but that’s nothing against her directly I just haven’t took that much interest in the films she’s been in. After she took the role of Tiger-Lily in Pan I was even further put off her as an actress but alas, here we are with her cast in one of the most nominated films in Hollywood right now.
Unfortunately, I felt myself feeling steadily bored at parts in the movie. It’s a very slow developing story and there aren’t many fast paced scenes to give you any form of motivation to get through the next one. I appreciate the beauty in the cinematography which was heavily influenced by Saul Leiter who was known for photographing through reflections and windows in the 1940\1950’s. Apart from that, I lost a lot of interest 2/3’s of the way through the movie.
Both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are nominated for Oscars. The never ending Academy Award controversy surrounds the film as Rooney Mara, nominated for Best Actress in a supporting role, actually has more screen time in the film than Cate Blanchett who is nominated for Best Lead Actress. Rooney Mara totals at an additional six minutes of screen time in comparison to Cate Blanchett. It’s the exact same problem The Danish Girl have had with Alicia Vikander and her supporting actress nomination. Nobody will ever be totally happy with the decisions made by the academy but they’re as I’ve seen thrown about multiple times “just old rich white men, what do they know?”
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara work SO well together because of their status’ in the film, and their different status’ in Hollywood. Some would call it method casting. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know it can’t be denied that their relationship is transfixing and you feel yourself become ever so intimated by Carol as well. I love what Rooney Mara had to say on why their relationship seemed so authentic.
One thing that completely impressed me in the movie was the costume design. It’s so chic and so glam and everything I would want to be in 1950 New York. Take a look at my favourite looks from the film –
- According to Film4 Exec Tessa Ross, they apparently battled for over 11 years to get the film made
- Rooney Mara was set to appear in the film back in 2011 but backed out of the role due to weariness after she had just finished shooting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
- Rooney Mara described her opportunity to shoot with Cate Blanchett as a dream come true after being a huge fan since age 13
- The story is loosely based on real life events that happened between author Patricia Highsmith and Philadelphia socialite Virginia Kent Catherwood. The pair had a romance which involved divorce proceedings, child custody and recorded hotel conversations.
- The movie was the most nominated film at the Golden Globes with a total of 5 nominations
- Nominated for 6 Oscars: Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music written for Motion Pictures.