STARS: Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in a scene from the movie Carol.
STARS: Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in a scene from the movie Carol. WILSON WEBB

REVIEW: A romance story a decade too late

IT IS best to admit, from the start, that we lost interest in this movie half way during the screening.

In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York.

Highsmith originally published the text under the pseudonym Claire Morgan but she retitled the novel Carol when she republished the book in the UK, under her own name, in 1990.

According to Patricia Highsmith, the novel was inspired by a chance encounter she had with a blond woman in a fur coat in New York City, shortly before Christmas 1948.

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.

While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) comes to light.

This film has a great book behind it, a good director, a superb cast and outstanding cinematography, but the issue of courageous, transgressive and engaging gay characters on cinema has seen better days, and it smells too much of Oscar-baiting for actors looking for an upgrade in their paychecks.

Don’t get me wrong, Mara and Blanchett are great in this film, but as Sir Ian Mackellan put it brilliantly in a recent interview, we don’t see gay actors getting Oscars for playing straight characters, do we?



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