Carol ★★★★

Watched for the Queer Film Challenge 2018

Week 39 - A sapphic film

What becomes a legend most? Cate Blanchett is stunning in her fur coat, and who wouldn't fall in love with her at first sight? The love story in this film is beautiful in the face of such ugliness from so many directions, subtle on the part of the participants. There's nothing overt in their relationship, but the mistrust and disdain from the heterosexual partners is so very much in your face, you can't help but recoil from it. The smugness of the private detective saying that it's nothing personal, the superiority of the custody judge, I do want to think things have gotten better since the '50s, but we're just a few elections away from turning back the clock to this ugly, ugly time. Because of all this, we see Carol treating Therese nearly as badly as she's being treated by Harge, which is incredibly difficult to watch. Haynes masterfully manipulates our emotions to forgive her shitty behaviour for the sake of the custody battle, and she redeems herself in the end in the face of adversity. To be honest, I enjoyed hearing Nagy talk about how the film came about on the FilmStruck podcast episode, than the actual film itself, and I may read Highsmith's original story to see what I think of that.