Matthew L. Brady’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I don't know what I want. How could I know what I want if I say yes to everything?".
Carol is set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk dreams of a better life for himself and finds himself falling for an older, married woman.
Before Carol was even release, it had a lot of Oscar talk with the two main leads and the story itself. It's one of those period piece movies that people start talking about how many awards it's going to win (It's mostly Gold Derby predictions) and not actually talking about the movie itself, only the awards and it's quite sad when I think about it. But all that a side, I've been anticipating Carol for awhile now, just because of the two main stars and the beautiful teaser trailer that got me interested in seeing it. And after seeing Carol I am lost with words right now, I mean wow. It's without a doubt the best movie of the year.
Cate Blanchett continues to amaze me and I don't think it's going to stop anytime soon. Shes tremendous in everything movie I've seen her in and in Carol she amazed me even more. Blanchett was absolutely phenomenal in this movie as she delivered such a powerful performance. It's by far her best performance and movie (In my personal opinion). I basically ran out of things to say about her, since I always say the same good things about her performance. I think sometimes things are too brilliant to be put into words and it's best to be watched.
Rooney Mara has come along way, because if you look at her track record of all the movies shes been in. She can star in a bad movie like the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street and then later appear in The Social Network. Same thing can be said this year as she was in "Pan" which was a massive piece of crap and she was so bad in that movie, but not here, because Mara gives a stunning and brilliant performance. Mara and Blanchett both deliver a stellar performance and both of them had great chemistry, I mean it was really touching and quite beautiful to watch.
With a movie like this you would think the romance between the two would be overly sloppy or repetitive like some romantic movies, but not this one. There's only a few scenes in this movie where one of them say "I love you" but that's it and it's never repeated. The thing I love about this movie is that the romance didn't feel force or cliche. The one thing I can't stand in romance movies is where the two lovers talk about how much they love each other and why they love each other, I mean screenwriting like that is just the worse, but Carol avoids all that and goes for a creative way of showing the romance that's best to be seen and felt. There's a scene in this movie that's personally my favorite scene of this year so far, and that's when the two of them are in the car going through a highway tunnel. Then we get to see Rooney Mara character (Therese) point of view as she looks at Carol and you as an audience member get to see what makes Carol so special in Therese's eyes. The scene itself has no dialogue, it was beautifully shot and it's short but wonderful. It may not mean a lot to some people but to me it dose and I wish we had more film making like this, because it's an original and brilliant way of showing human connection, I mean it's much better than the character's repeatedly saying "I love you" to each other.
Todd Haynes did an excellent job directing this movie. Everything that a good director should do in movies is what Todd Haynes dose here. He's the glue to all of this and he brilliantly crafted such a powerful film.
The cinematography in the movie was magnificent as it had the perfect shots that fitted the story really well. The art direction, the costumes, and the writing were flawless.
Now for the flaws: My only flaw in this movie has to be that some of the supporting characters were pretty forgettable and could have easily be cut out of the movie.
Overall Carol is a beautifully crafted movie that tells an emotional story that's so nailed down to reality. It's a movie worth seeing if you haven't checked it out yet.