Olivia’s review published on Letterboxd:
I didn't watch Carol with any expectations at all. Lesbian films tend to end with someone dying in various ways or the utter sadness of unnecessary heartbreak.
Honestly? I was bored during the first hour. I had to force myself not to look at my watch and not to start moving around in my chair. I ate popcorn.
Then I fell in love with Carol. The way Cate Blanchett moves, acts, looks, carries herself. I fell in love with the soundtrack. The way it is filmed. I loved the ending and I walked out of the cinema unsure what to think.
It was Cate Blanchett that made me like it, maybe even love it, during the second hour. Any other actress and I don't think it would have left a lasting impression. Any other actress and I might have still been bored by the end of the film...
My partner asked if she would like it. I said I didn't know. But (thinking she'd be a bad lesbian for not watching this), she decided to tag along for a second viewing.
Oh boy. How wrong was I about the first half of the film? I loved every minute the second time around. Cinematography, script, music, both Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett are all brilliant. And the directing... gorgeous. The film isn't plot-heavy, but there's such an intimate development between the two leads, so many emotions and subtle looks, it kept me on the edge of my seat. It's an intimate and beautiful film and I might have to go and watch it a third time.