Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
The One in Which I Wrote This at 2 AM, in the Liminal Hours Between Morning and Night, and Now Deeply Regret it (but Ah, Fuck it, I'm Posting it Anyway)
do you ever just... love something so much, but that thing is so delicate and precious that it kind of transcends the rigid and rough limitations of language itself?
bc that's me @ carol
first and foremost, that SCORE. all at once, the music is atmospheric and evocative and introspective and so, so beautiful. the soundtrack twinkles -- how, exactly, music "twinkles," i don't know, but it just does, okay??
i cried multiple times throughout this and honestly at least two of those times were over Rooney Mara's costumes. i want everything in Therese's closet, thank you. also whoever made those wigs: call me, because i'd like to put in a custom order. wigs are so fucking hard to get right, but these were divine.
speaking of divinity: the COLORING of this made me bust an emotional nut. from the costumes to the rooms to the landscapes, everything was perfect. i've never loved green and red so much before.
and oh goodness: that super 16mm film. my whole heart feels fuller and more complete now after seeing one beautiful shot after the next. the mobility of the angles and framing is so deft, i can't even really describe it, other than it felt right.
perrrrrhaps the pacing was not always perfect, but i also have had like 8 hours of not-entirely-sober sleep for the last three nights, SO i may not be the best judge of that. this story to me is so believable and so intimate and so fucking vulnerable that maybe i just wanted more: more of Carol and Therese, obviously, but also from Sarah Paulson and Coach Taylor (...yeah i can't remember his actual name and i've never even watched FNL but it's 2 am so forgive me) who, albeit very nuanced, still felt like there was more to be fleshed out from. i could've watched 3 hours of this movie though so again: maybe i'm a poor judge and what isn't actually a pacing issue is just me being selfish
BUT oh my GOD that final sequence. how beautiful. how special. and how hopeful. i've been thinking a lot still about Moonlight, and even more so about what Trevante Rhodes said about Chiron and Kevin's love -- which to poorly summarize is that Kevin is Chiron's "10" and Chiron isn't settling for anybody less than that blah blah i'm fucking crying just writing about it so go read his own words for yourself BUT my point is that i think Carol and Therese are very much the same. their each other's 10s: Therese comes into her own in the company of Carol and Carol's strength is underscored and inspired by Therese's authenticity. there are billions of people on this silly little world and i like to believe some of them -- maybe a handful at most -- can really understand one another in a special, inexplicable way. that spark, that inclination, that attraction, that desire and hunger and thirst, that devotion, that willingness to risk anything, everything, whatever. that's Chiron and Kevin. that's Carol and Therese. that's many love stories, i'm sure, but there's a certain kind of poignancy and power that comes with these being queer love stories, because there's a danger and fear and threat unique alone to the prejudice and oppression interwoven into these narratives of love even before they've begun.
i'm so happy to see such strong sentiments of hope in these two narratives. i'm so happy film exists (esp super 16mm.) i am glad for art and love and people flung out of space. ok now i'm really friggin tired but boy oh BOY was this a delight