Review: Carol

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GaydarGirls has seen Carol and it’s every bit as beautiful as we expected it to be.

Mild spoiler alert ahead (but not much of one)…
The film has, quite rightly, been praised for its cinematography, storyline and acting. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara assimilate brilliantly what a same-sex couple relationship must have been like in the 50’s. The film is filled with subtle glances and gentle arm touches and for the first half of the film there’s that constant feel of “should I ask her if she’s gay or am I overthinking it?” between the two characters. It’s a problem that still faces most of the LGBT community today but seeing it in a situation where neither characters could have really outright just asked each other was even more heart wrenching. There are plenty of heartbreaking moments in the film (we don’t to spoil too much for you) whether it’s Carol’s interaction with her husband Harge mid divorce or the telephone conversations between Carol and Therese.

However the film’s biggest curveball and one we were happy to welcome, was the lack of a cliché ending as sadly too many lesbian flicks have. Again we aren’t giving it away but the ending was almost worth the entire film itself. Both actresses give a wonderful performance and Rooney manages to convey so much despite having little dialogue in comparison to Blanchett but as per usual Cate Blanchett reigns as general queen of the world with every single look, wink, line and wobbling of her voice when she’s close to tears.

This film takes you through the motions. Joy, anger, sympathy and the occasional eye roll when a relatable moments came up, or when one of the male characters is doing something so typically, well, male. It also remains true to the 50s style, in other words, subtle. The flirtations between the two women are subtle and the relationship between Carol and Harge and their history is kept subtle. Yet it’s obvious that Carol is a gay woman and not just some bored housewife. The friendship between Carol and Sarah Paulson’s character Abby – as well as their romantic history – is also kept a bit of a mystery but it’s fairly obvious that Harge and his family dislike Carol spending time with her. Sarah Paulson delivers a great performance despite having little screen time. Like the rest of the film, even the love scene between the two women is subtle and reserved, so don’t expect anything racy.

We urge you to go and see this beautiful film and we are also hoping it gets the recognition it deserves at the Oscars next year. We hope this is the start of a new wave of great, realistic, award-worthy lesbian flicks. After all, there’s only so many times we can watch ‘Bound’ and ‘But I’m a Cheerleader.’

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