Easily the most straightforward feature that Haynes ever put his name on—just a well-acted literary melodrama with soft-focus pastels. Yet it is also one of his most consistent. Note the bait-and-switch: this is Therese's movie, not Carol's. Did Carol ever really love her? Or is she just a symbol of transgressive freedom and possibility, beckoning at the end like a cross between the Mona Lisa and the Big Bad Wolf?
an academic exercise in post-melodrama. switching focus from carol to therese was a mistake. the use of grainy docu-style 16mm for lavish period drama is novel, but it lacks what made melodramas so good - emotion. it emphasises form and style over feeling. visually exquisite, highly detailed, yet undercooked and unsatisfying. script feels choppy; film is inert. more about what it doesnt do than what it does.
Intense, romantic and tender: a conventionally executed film which had me trying to recall the last time we saw a film about two people simply falling in love. This is absolutely Rooney Mara's film, both in term of her performance and character. The chemistry with Cate Blanchett is electric, and is perhaps the closest we'll get to seeing the likes of Hepburns A and K together on screen.
I was really looking forward to 'Carol'...but it turned out to be the glamorous period melodrama rendering of 'La Vie d'Adele' (not a good reference to me!) and the weak pair to 'Far from Heaven' in Haynes 50s homo-duology. Beautiful cinematography (less of an homage to Sirk this time). Exquisite decor and costumes. Very stale plot. Couldn't engage with Rooney Mara's dry, one-dimensional performance for one second.
A film as intimate and intelligent as a J.D. Salinger novella. Todd Haynes knows things about creating motion picture narratives which few will ever learn, he's done it before but perhaps this is his most deeply respectful characterization of human beings, exposing our ability to live in a most difficult world while refusing to forfeit our hard won tendernesses even in the face of
3,5 Carol or the women in the frame. The film explores the correlation between what an image of a character says and how the character himself really feels. The frame can be a prison: in Carol, the freedom can only be found between the images, in the space between a shot-reverse shot.