*** out of ****
In Todd Haynes’ Carol, a gorgeously realized drama is captured on Super 16mm film through the photographic eye of the underrated cinematographer, Ed Lachman. The film’s style and nostalgia are the driving forces in telling a love story between a wealthy middle-aged married woman (Cate Blanchett) and a young struggling photographer (Rooney Mara).
The film is based on a novel from the time of the story’s 1950s setting, which makes its journey from taboo literature to prestige cinema quite significant. For me, the film falls short in two important areas: Blanchett’s character is too steeped in anxiety for me to understand her passion in the relationship and Carter Burwell’s score is too gloomy for this film’s hidden optimism.