Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FILM -

COM­BIN­ING classy per­for­mances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, del­i­cate sto­ry­telling by di­rec­tor Todd Haynes and gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy by Ed­ward Lach­man, Carol is prov­ing to be one of the best love sto­ries of re­cent times.

Go­ing far be­yond the tired and nau­se­at­ing “op­po­sites at­tract” tropes that Hol­ly­wood of­ten trots out to melt our hearts and get our emo­tions flut­ter­ing, Carol cel­e­brates a love and bond be­tween two peo­ple – any two peo­ple.

It does not mat­ter who they are or where they come from; it is a re­fresh­ing, all-in­clu­sive, beau­ti­ful point of view that we see far too in­fre­quently on the big screen.

Young depart­ment store clerk with a pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy Therese Be­livet (Mara) serves older glam­orous mar­ried mother-of-one Carol Aird (Blanchett) and be­comes im­me­di­ately in­fat­u­ated.

The two be­come close and it is re­vealed that Carol has had in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships with other women in the past, much to the anger and frus­tra­tion of her hus­band Harge (Kyle Chandler).

The beauty of Carol lies in its re­fusal to judge or to la­bel its char­ac­ters.

Words like “gay” or “les­bian” are not spo­ken, walls be­tween dif­fer­ent sex­u­al­i­ties are bro­ken down and the or­ganic bond that de­vel­ops be­tween Therese and Carol is never pi­geon­holed; it just ex­ists and, most im­por­tantly, is nur­tured. There is more heart and ma­tu­rity in this love story, told with breath­tak­ing sub­tlety, than 20 het­ero-nor­ma­tive ro­mance dra­mas.

Haynes has a clear af­fec­tion and un­der­stand­ing of th­ese two women and their sit­u­a­tion and brings their story to life in a sen­si­tive man­ner. Hope­fully Carol opens the flood­gates for more films with in­clu­sive, open-minded views of love and re­la­tion­ships, where there are no rules ap­plied to the emo­tion or who it is we share it with.


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