Youth Review: Carol

14 December 2015

Christmas is nearly here and with it a barrage of blockbusters from the US are landing in cinemas across the land! The new offering from Director Todd Haynes, Carol, is one such heavy weight and given the exemplary reviews, Youth Review thought we’d check it out for ourselves.

Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, Carol is set in an idealised 1950’s America and tells the story of Carol Aird and Therese Belivet played by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who meet and fall in love.  

So what did the group think? Well it was a mixed but generally good response…I think? Some members of the group found it hugely entertaining and really enjoyed it. Others found that it dragged and didn’t really go anywhere. This being said the group all agreed on the quality of the film making from Todd Haynes and the power of the performances from the entire cast. The film is lush and nuanced but perhaps, maybe because of the source material, not for everyone. It was suggested that perhaps the subject of the book would have had more impact in the 1950’s, as the relatively hopeful ending was at that time quite unprecedented in gay fiction. However, it was also pointed out that Carol didn’t seem to be interested in being impactful or sensational. Instead it focuses on being a sincere and highly romantic film, which favours beautification over brash storytelling. 

…And so overall Carol is smartly made, low key high gloss drama that showcases the talents of its cast and director to great effect. It’s not for everyone and it is not a blockbuster to rival Star Wars this Christmas. But in many ways Carol is all the better for it.

A lovely, crafted and nuanced Youth Review score of 4/5. 

By Collective Review by QUAD Youth Review