CAROL

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES - (Molly Boyle)

This is di­rec­tor Todd Haynes’ se­cond 1950s-era melo­drama, af­ter the Dou­glas Sirk-in­flu­enced

Far From Heaven, in which Ju­lianne Moore plays a sub­ur­ban house­wife with a clos­eted gay hus­band. This time — in a story adapted from a 1952 novel by Pa­tri­cia High­smith, which she pub­lished un­der a pseu­do­nym due to its les­bian plot­line — it’s glam­orous New Jersey house­wife Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) who’s gay and nudg­ing the closet door open. She’s go­ing through a dif­fi­cult sep­a­ra­tion and di­vorce from her hus­band, Harge (Kyle Chandler), dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son when she meets Therese Be­livet (Rooney Mara), an in­génue work­ing the counter at a New York City depart­ment store. The alchemy be­tween Therese and Carol is in­stant, and glo­ri­ous to be­hold, as the film cen­ters on the re­mark­able per­for­mances of th­ese two ac­tresses, both nom­i­nated for Academy Awards. Ev­ery dis­parate el­e­ment of the film adds to its vir­tu­os­ity, from the pe­riod de­signs to the score. Rated R. 118 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown.

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