James’s review published on Letterboxd:
The very best thing about Carol is how deliberately apolitical it is. It doesn't shove a billion ham fisted, condescending monologues down our throat about the injustice of it all, or linger on cheesy melodrama to make its point. I've seen a few reviews lamenting that this will be categorised as an "LGBT" film, sort of like a catch-all label that films depicting homosexual relationships are hurriedly scooped under regardless of their actual content, but so far Carol has avoided this, and after seeing it I know why.
To paraphrase what Roger Ebert wrote about Brokeback Mountain: What these two people feel for each other is universal, and their tragedy of not being able to share it with each other is as well. Because the film understands that, it can tell this story in a way that any person can relate to and empathise with. Gone is the perception that this is different or the other. If we want to combat this sort of erasure, a film that approaches it like this is exactly what will influence cultural change. In a few decades this will probably be seen as a film that helped break down that routine categorisation, and I hope it has a similar impact on society in general, too.
It's such a shame that the Weinsteins have picked this as their golden child this year. Do you like the film? Well good, because you're never going to hear the fucking end about Carol and how it is god's absolute, defining gift to all of cinema until the Oscars are over and it takes a Best Picture statue that it probably could have won without excessive lobbying anyway. I pray I won't hate it by then, but I fear such prayers will be futile. For a few months none of us will be able to escape this film.