Life and especially the way people thought in 1952 was quite different from what it is today. Carol is set in New York and deals with two gay women, Therese Belivet, (Rooney Mara) a sales girl and aspiring photographer working in Frankenberg’s department store in Manhattan and an older, glamorous woman, Carol Aird, (Cate Blanchett) who was shopping for a gift for her daughter, Rindy, (Sadie Heim) during the Christmas holiday. After purchasing a set of trains and having a friendly conversation with Therese, Carol accidentally leaves her gloves behind. Using Carol’s sales slip to obtain her name and address, Therese returns the gloves to Carol by mail. Carol, who is going through a messy divorce from her husband, Harge, (Kyle Chandler) calls the department store to thank Therese for sending her gloves and invites Therese to lunch. Once the two ladies meet, they find that they are intrigued with one another, thus a relationship begins. Carol invites Therese to New Jersey for Christmas at her home. Therese uses the opportunity to also take pictures as well as cultivate a relationship.
Before the evening gets started, Harge appears and announces he has come to take Rindy away with him for the holidays. An argument ensues, Harge is suspicious of Therese and things get ugly. Everyone leaves and the plot thickens. Carol is mostly about what encounters after this incident, so I won’t tell any more of the story. As usual, Cate Blanchett’s acting was outstanding and while I’m not familiar with Rooney Mara, who reminds me of a young Mia Farrow, is also a brilliant actress. She played a gay Therese with an innocence that was so convincing, I believed her every word. Carol was slow but I couldn’t see it directed any other way. We had to get to know the character of Carol who was sophisticated and eloquent and Therese who was quiet and somewhat passive. Carol is a pretty good movie if you like a nice soft, quite film to ponder.
[Carol is nominated for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Costume Design, Original Score and Adapted Screenplay]