ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Carol - Tragic, Gorgeous, and Immersive

Updated on February 8, 2016

Despite strides made in the course of the last ten years or so, the stories of LGBT people still remain largely untold. One could still file something like Carol as a “lesbian Brokeback Mountain” for ease of dismissal, but that does this masterpiece and complete vision from director Todd Haynes an absolute disservice. Every gear behind Carol is in top shape, the film is expertly crafted, masterfully acted, and thematically resonant across the board. It is a landmark of 2015.

Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) is in the middle of a divorce from her husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler).When buying a Christmas present for her daughter, she meets Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and it is love at first sight (more on this in a bit). Harge eventually discovers her same-sex relationship and opts to take advantage of this to seize full custody of their child.

Carol could easily be described as “another Oscar-baity LGBT movie” or another “the 50’s weren’t so great” movie but that does a disservice to the emotional core and humanity that sits here. This is a gorgeous film, both inside and out, due in no small part to how Phyllis Nagy’s script connects to the lives of its two characters and to Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara’s career-best performances. There are scenes in the film that are clearly meant to be thematically resonant, and Carol is the rare arthouse film that actively engages you in that regard. You want to analyze it, you want to dissect it.

One aspect of Carol that doesn’t seem like it gets touched upon often is Kyle Chandler’s performance. His husband is fundamentally a good man, but he is a product of his time period, and sees Carol’s lack of affection for him (something neither can control) as a personal insult. He loves her, but he demonizes her, and begins to see her as an obstacle to what society tells him he needs to have. He is corrupted by things he cannot control, and this clearly troubles him.

Cate Blanchett accesses humanity and a certain emotion that I had not often seen of her. I know everybody sings the praises of Blanchett’s acting all the time, but I just rarely catch the bug. With Carol though, I get it. Her layered performance creates a gorgeous yet flawed figure that connects with the viewer with relative ease. Rooney Mara is also pitch-perfect, as a young woman who does not know what she wants until she does.

Every single shot helmed by director Todd Haynes could be hung up in a museum as a painting (which I suppose is the only similarity Carol shares with Mad Max: Fury Road). The mixture of Haynes’ stellar blocking and the gorgeous cinematography by Edward Lachman is a marvel and an achievement of filmmaking. Credit must be given to Phyllis Nagy’s script, which understands these characters at the core of their being.

Carol is a masterpiece of filmmaking and one of the best films of 2015. It is a singular vision and an emotional rollercoaster. It is a film that not only needs to be seen twice, but demands it. Not to be missed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)