Carol ★★★½

"At no point in Todd Haynes’ Carol is the word 'lesbian' heard — nor 'homosexual,' the now-arcane 'homophile' or any other period-appropriate descriptor of the LGBTQ spectrum. This is the love that literally dare not speak its name, a conspicuous absence viewers will automatically fill in (especially after seeing dozens of headlines and articles bluntly/reductively identifing the film as a 'lesbian drama'). Depending on your POV, this resistance to labeling is either an accurate depiction of period repression, or oddly up-to-the-minute given increased aversion to categorical sexual labels and regular terminological resets."

I rarely say this, but I'm pretty sure I nailed it in this review. Only thing I have to add (couldn't get it into the review without seeming like I was carping for carping's sake) is — as usual with Haynes' non-spectacle films (i.e., everything but Velvet Goldmine and I'm Not There), I wish he didn't feel like humor would undermine everything. I can't find the actress' name, but I loved Therese's pettily tyrannical store supervisor, who acts exceptionally aggrieved to inform her that she has a phone call. A few more character actors like that at the fringes would open this up a little bit; as usual, Haynes is poised right on the line between the deeply absorbing and the ponderous. But still, this is keen stuff.