Carol (2015)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Carol</strong> (2015)

(On Cable TV, July 2016) Let me tell you how little I cared about Carol: After renting it via video on-demand, I fell asleep midway through and didn’t come back to it before its 48-hour availability period expired. Six months later, I happened to catch its second half on Cable TV just to say I’d seen it to the end. To be fair, it’s a good film. Competently directed by Todd Haynes, it convincingly re-creates wintry 1950s New York in presenting the then-scandalous love affair between a high-class wife and a humble shopgirl/photographer. Strikingly enough, Carol manages to avoid the aren’t-we-better-now back-patting, or the tragic-forbidden-romance angle in which so many historical same-sex romances run aground. Even though it features stars such as the always-exceptional Cate Blanchett and It Girl Rooney Mara, it doesn’t shy away from explicit love scenes. As such, it’s a quiet triumph. Still, movie viewers with shorter attention spans will fiddle a long time while the film glacially moves through its story, rarely surprising or exciting. While there’s a bit of a thriller-ish subplot later on, Carol otherwise behaves almost exactly as it would have had it been put together in the 1950s. It would, of course, have been far more scandalous then, but that’s sort of the point of the film. I don’t think Carol will mind all that much if it leaves me cold: other reviewers have liked it a lot more than I did, and that’s good enough—it’s a big movie universe, and there’s a place for everything.

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