Danny Webster’s review published on Letterboxd:
My experience as a lesbian woman is, as you'd imagine, non-existent. And likewise, my experiences as a person in 1950's Manhattan is equally non-existent. My experiences of love will probably never dare reach the sensual erotic heights of Carol, nor will they ever contain the elegance of the two performances - of Blanchett and Mara who are both superb - but I suppose, the one thing I do know is that at least lesbian romances in 1950's Manhattan were horribly romantic. Disgustingly romantic you could say.
As I already said, the two performances were superb - very different, but superb. Without Mara and Blanchett, and maybe the occasional quixotic flourish from Todd Haynes (the atmosphere and the aesthetic occasionally lurched into the absurdly idealistic) the film might have just been another romantic film. But it does have those things - and without trying to overestimate my enjoyment of the film I found the romance between the two enthralling, perhaps due to its forbidden stamp, or maybe because the performances were just that good.