2015 Movie Reviews: Carol

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“Would you like to come visit me on Oscar Sunday?”

I would like to start out by thanking TheFilmExperience, for praising this film left and right. And then somehow, I still ended up surprised by how amazing this film was.

It feels odd to describe a movie that just came out this year as ‘classic’, but that is the best word to describe this film. This is a movie that feels several decades old, the kind you would see playing on TCM. The fact is, it already feels significant and historical. But the funny thing, it also feels completely  deserving of that status.

It’s a combination of everything that makes a film work. Director Todd Haynes cleverly figures out when to let his direction be noticeable and when to just let the actors do their thing. The screenplay and the story are completely top notched and emotional.

And, of course, what would a film like this be without great acting?

I have told myself since March that Brie Larson was winning Best Actress this year, but one thing that I didn’t see coming was Cate Blanchett. If she hadn’t won in 2013 she would be the odds-on favorite here. Every single second she’s on screen, you can see her true thoughts, her attempts to hide her true thoughts, and how successful or unsuccessful those attempts are. It’s really quite astounding.

Then there’s Rooney Mara. Just going off of the scenes of her alone, she makes a good case to be nominated (or even win) Lead Actress, but unfortunately, when you put her in the same scene as Cate Blanchett, there’s no comparison. It’s unfortunate that she’s being campaigns supporting because she’s really not, but that’s what happens when you have to act opposite Cate Blanchett at her very, very best.

Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson offer up strong supporting performances, but can’t quite live up to the film’s two leads. Also, The film’s cinematography is a true standout in an already incredible year for camerawork, and the score is simply gorgeous.

This is a film that, decades from now, film students will watch and analyze. Sometimes you watch a movie and you just know that it’s going to go down in history as one of the greatest films of all time. And Carol is one of those films.

*****

 

 

 

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