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Carol

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, USA

2015

Rated R • 1h 58m

Director Todd Haynes

Starring Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson

Genre Romance, Drama

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In 1950s New York, Therese, a young aspiring photographer, meets the older, elegant Carol in a doll department store. They begin to see each other, but each is burdened by their own relationships. As time goes by, their burgeoning romance becomes more irresistible, and much more complicated.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Elsa Bauerdick Profile picture for Elsa Bauerdick

This movie is so well-acted and overall a delight to watch. Every twist and turn of the story takes us along for the ride with a mesmerizing soundtrack and an overall aesthetic appeal that is not to be missed. Carol's character particularly is fascinating to watch both because of Cate Blanchett's wonderful acting and because of the heartbreaking emotional arc she goes through throughout the movie.

Teddy Pierce Profile picture for Teddy Pierce

A gorgeously photographed film of looks and glances and stolen stares. Todd Haynes directs a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, loss, jealousy, and obsession that should be seen by causal film fans and aspiring filmmakers alike.

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

An immersive and melancholy film featuring two very capable actors and a memorable 1950s set design. Maybe too much fluff (read: slow!) for some viewers, but I respect the detail and thought that Todd Haynes put into each shot, though I think the film relies heavily on its aesthetic appeal.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

CineVue by

A beautiful entity, near flawless in design, any talk of accolades certainly seems justified.
100

Time Out London by Dave Calhoun

Gestures, looks and touches carry enormous weight, and Blanchett and Mara, both excellent, invite micropscopic readings of their every glance and movement.
100

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

A nuanced tale of mutual attraction that reflects a filmmaker and cast operating at the height of their powers, rendering complex circumstances in strikingly personal terms.
83

Hitfix by Gregory Ellwood

Only the combined talents of both Blanchett and Mara can make the film's powerfully realized finale work.
100

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Made of crystal and suppressed tears, shot eternally through windows and mirrors and half-closed doors, Todd Haynes' Carol is a love story that starts at a trickle, swells gradually to a torrent, and finally bursts the banks of your heart. A beautiful film in every way, immaculately made, and featuring two pristine actresses glowing across rooms and tousled bedclothes at each other like beacons of tentative, unspoken hope.
100

Variety by Justin Chang

Even high expectations don’t quite prepare you for the startling impact of Carol, an exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story that teases out every shadow and nuance of its characters’ inner lives with supreme intelligence, breathtaking poise and filmmaking craft of the most sophisticated yet accessible order.
100

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It is a creamily sensuous, richly observed piece of work, handsomely detailed and furnished: the clothes, the hair, the automobiles, the train carriages, the record players, the lipstick and the cigarettes are all superbly presented. The combination of all this is intoxicating in itself.
100

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

Carol is gorgeous, gently groundbreaking, and might be the saddest thing you’ll ever see. More than hugely accomplished cinema, it’s an exquisite work of American art, rippling with a very specific mid-century melancholy, understanding love as the riskiest but most necessary gamble in anyone’s experience.
90

The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Blanchett makes an indelible impression as a woman who, through breeding, intense personal cultivation and social expectations, has brilliantly mastered the skill of navigating through life.

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