Carol is astonishingly beautiful. The Super 16mm camera work is gentle on the eyes and soft in it's focus. It treats our characters with an aesthetic that individualizes the time and the relationship in focus. This is, without a doubt, the most pleasing film to watch this year.

Diving right into the meat of Carol, there is Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. These two women are larger than life. They deliver award winning performances in a year taken over by the female actor. Elizabeth Moss and Katherine Waterson have some company up on their pedestal. Through glances, subtle nuances and voices, more intimate than anything else this year, it's no surprise to find yourself falling in love with these two spellbinding actors. More convincing then their performances are their arcs, Cate's titular Carol's being the more prominent of the two. Carol finds herself at odds with her husband, constantly invaded with custody battles. The comfort she finds in herself through the relationship with Rooney's Therese and the self-achnwledgment that solidifies in her climactic anti-oscar moment brings power to a woman seemingly veiled in it, but, in reality, weakening at the seams. Then there is Therese, who's arc reflects a coming-of-age tale that is beautifully brought to fruition through the self-realization of sex with another woman. Her sexuality bogged down by the times, first, in secret, she becomes a woman and then, with strength, in public, she finds power. Her growth is directly attached to this relationship and her internal struggles to throw herself into the world around her, but when she does, it's warranted and rewarding.

Of course, then, there is Todd Haynes. The man behind the vision of such a phantasmagoric 50s. It's him who knows who to cut to during Carol's arguments. It's him who understands that Carol's husband is to be hidden by the environment during a scene of false peace. Todd Haynes is the man who takes a script, beautifully written in it's details but formulaic in it's plot beats, and transforms it into a work of beauty. The vibrant soft colours that morph each frame into a painting blow you away. My single take away was Rooney's boyfriend who played a necessary role necessarily over dramatically. But that's a mere blip on a film of this calibre.

Carol is a film I can't stop loving and one that will be seen again and again and again and again. It's too gorgeous to leave out of your mind. It marks 2015 as the year of romance done indubitably right.

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