Film review: Carol

A subtle and moving film adapted from Patricia Highsmith's class novel 'The Price of Salt'


Film review: Carol

Beautiful, moody and atmospheric, Carol is directed by Todd Haynes and based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, written at the time under a pseudonym and now recognised as a feminist, lesbian classic.

Set in New York in the early 1950s, Cate Blanchett is elegant and mesmorising as Carol, a wife and mother on the brink of divorce who has an affair with much younger shopgirl Therese (Rooney Mara), who is on the cusp of self-discovery. She is a photographer, but avoids taking pictures of people until she meets Carol,
who forces her to examine her own desires and understand herself.

Their affair is complicated by Carol’s husband, who personifies the sexism of the era and the moral taboo of homosexuality, as he forces Carol to choose between custody of her child and being with the person she loves.

Subtle and moving, without tipping over into melodrama, Carol is a beautiful film about how true love can be risky, but is the only worthwhile gamble.

Carol opens in UK and Irish cinemas on 27 November