Carol Review

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett
Rooney Mara Rooney Mara
Kyle Chandler Kyle Chandler

Plot- Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

Review– Discovering that Carol got a standing ovation at Cannes didn’t surprise me in the slightest. This is a film genetically designed to win critical applause, awards and convince audience goers that haven’t merely seen a “film” they have been witness to a work of “art.”

In that vein, Carol is beautiful to look at, with impeccable performances from Kate Blanchett (going for an Oscar) and Rooney Mara (Hoping to absolve herself after Pan). Every frame is a painting and it’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into making the film look amazing. The soundtracks pretty good as well, if your into that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, someone decided it would be a good idea to hire the person who wrote the dialogue for The Lobster and team them up with Christopher Nolan meaning that not only is the dialogue on the nose, its also very cold and seems nothing like anything that would be said by actual humans.

There’s also very little chemistry between Mara and Blanchett which the woeful dialogue really doesn’t help.

Unfortunately, because of the way it’s shot, the film feels glacially slow. According to IMDB it only lasts 118 minutes but it felt much much longer to me.

And because of the woeful dialogue and spectacularly awful characterization I was unable to  become immersed in the storyline. Which meant, when something did happen it barely registered as I checked my watch again, trying to work out if it was broken or I really was checking it that often.

And given the subject matter and casting, this should have been an amazing and powerful film about the struggles of being gay back in the 1950’s, the secrets, the lies, the double life weighing down on our two protagonists with innocent people getting dragged in and destroyed. Instead, it all seems flat, cold, and contrived.

Adapted from the novel The Price of Salt, this is a gorgeous to look at, slow, piece of art, that should have been so much more.

My Score- Poor

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