"Carol" (2015) is an elegant and engrossing drama starring Cate Blanchett as the titular Carol, a wealthy 1950s-era housewife who becomes smitten with a young department store clerk named Theresa (Rooney Mara), leading to a burgeoning friendship that evolves even-handedly into a touching romance between the two women. "Carol" is a somber, often melancholy film about yearning and desire that flows evenly across the screen, taking you under its spell and painting an unconventional love story in a time and place when such a relationship was so rarely recognized or approved. Director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Wonderstruck) brings Patricia Highsmith’s novel to life with a deft hand, subtle and intricate with the emotions and desires of the two leads, patient in the unfolding passions at play, and perfectly even-handed in the overall exposition of the storyline as it leads through surprising and unforeseen turns. A polished and exquisite piece of filmmaking.
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