Carol - 3.5 Stars
Exquisitely shot, with wonderful performances this character driven period-drama is well acted, but fails to tell an interesting story.
A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens.
Cinematographer Edward Lachman has proven his genius in this film, as it looks stunning. He beautifully captures the look and feel of the 1920s through his camera lens. The script and story however aren’t as wonderful. There are two superbly written characters, played subliminally by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara – without these actresses this film would be atrocious. The story is very dull and the fact that little progress is made story wise from the start until the end – in fact one of the last scenes is also the first scene in the film. There are many inconsequential plot “devices” thrown in to attempt to create story driven drama, but the performances offered show how brilliant the actresses are and how weak the script is.
Overall it looks beautiful and the performances really are some of the best cinema has seen in a long time. The disinteresting story does bring the film down a notch, but the wonderfully crafted characters and sublime performances make up for the lack of plot.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas