Carol ★★★★½

I was close to starting this with "A visual feast on par with Mad Max: Fury Road" and to be honest I sorta mean it. As far as this year goes Carol is far and away 2015's most effective romance in part because of Haynes' steady patience with it. The simmer between Carol and Therese is evident from their first meeting but there are societal road blocks and significant build up of tension and emotion before the deeply moving release.

Keeping in Haynes' themes of oppressive domesticity and aggressive social norms inhibiting authentic expression, Carol takes a more reserved approach than the Sirkian melodrama of 2002's Far From Heaven, which I generally prefer because it adds to the mystique of the character of Carol and facilitates a romance that builds and builds upon every feeling the characters cannot express.

I'll be seeing this again in its wider release and probably be saying more at that time, but this is by far one of the highlights of the year. See it, you know what to do.

Stray observation: I love Haynes and Lachman's decision to frame their characters, particularly the female leads, behind glass and within a confined frame. They're on display to the world just as the dolls in Therese's department store.

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