A tedious as it goes on romantic drama which, for some ungodly reason, is two hours. Despite the trailer pretty much giving away the best moments, and everything not presented in the trailer perhaps only being entertaining for those who love pure Oscar bait.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Just like a man. After nearly a decade of being in an unhappy marriage with husband Harge (Kyle Chandler), the first thing Carol (Cate Blanchett), a slightly closeted lesbian, goes after is a young girl. Said girl, Therese (Rooney Mara), whose age isn’t fully disclosed is someone who seems a little odd, a bit disconnected, and with a look of innocence and naivety, who could ask for a more perfect target?
But, unfortunately for Carol, while she maybe the predator when it comes to her and Therese, she is the prey when it comes to Harge. Someone who she might be divorcing, but with him more than willing to do whatever it takes to keep her in the marriage, including getting sole custody of their daughter, what would be a closet for others is a home for her. However, with their being one before Therese, and feelings Carol refuses to deny, we are left wondering will she sacrifice her sexuality until her child comes of age, or be who she is and hopes for forgiveness when little Rindy (Sadie & KK Heim) are older?
Until about midway through the movie, it is very likable. I enjoyed watching Carol sort of analyze Therese and really make it seem like she was the type to have a lover until she gets bored, or her husband catches on.
However, once it became clear Carol may have given the perception of being almost predator like, but truly was just a woman who got sick and tired of pretending she loved her husband or perhaps even enjoyed intimacy with men, things started to go downhill. For between her husband trying to control her life, by using Rindy, and then Therese being in this weird place in which you can’t fully tell if she is just going along with Carol to experiment, or may actually like her, I personally lost interest.
A part of me wished that, outside of Carol, and perhaps Abby (Sarah Paulson), we would have gotten to see more possible upper crust, and likely closeted lesbians.
Overall, it was hard to say whether Harge wanted Carol for appearances or because he genuinely loved her and was trying his best to find ways to force her to give their marriage a second chance.
On The Fence
When first introduced to Therese, her wide open eyes, sort of like a deer in the headlights, look is almost childlike. As if she wants to absorb everything and has such wonder about what others do and the way things work. However, with time, it starts to almost devolve a bit into a Dakota Fanning type nothingness in which it seems nothing is going on behind the eyes of Mara.
In a way, the trailer revealing they are destined to become lovers takes away from everything. In a way, it is like reading the works of Sylvia Plath and knowing she ended her life. It makes everything, all that you experience, revolving around what you know is inevitable. So it takes away from Carol’s almost femme fatale glances, and it makes Therese naïve college girl from the country looks just give you that feeling of “JUST KISS HER ALREADY!”
Final Thought(s): TV Viewing
Carol to me starts off good as it shows a woman of a certain age seducing some 20 something-year-old girl. Then, even with the added husband and custody drama, there is still something here to love. However, after a certain point it becomes clear that the script and performances are made to be Oscar bait, and for those who like those types of films, then what I would say is the general audience. Hence the TV Viewing label for with this still being in limited release, and not remaining consistently good throughout, I see no point of taking yourself to the nearest big city for what is no more than a decent film.