Opening Nov. 20, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Carol, director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, I’m Not There) sumptuous new drama staring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women who are drawn to each other in the strict moral landscape of 1950s New York.
Adapted by debut feature screenwriter Phyllis Nagy from the novel by Patricia Highsmith, Carol is an exquisite example of an awards contender which more than lives up to the high expectations of the season. This is thanks to both the quality of the material and its telling; Nagy’s script is perfectly pitched, as is Haynes masterful direction, but the real strength – and joy – of this film is found in its two lead performances. Read on…
Heading the bill is Blanchett as the eponymous upper class suburban housewife who is determined to remain true to herself, no matter the huge personal consequence. Poised, elegant and desperately moving, it’s yet another tour de force turn from an actress who has clearly defined herself as the best of her generation. Yet she is matched in every scene by the outstanding Rooney, who is absolutely mesmerizing as the shop girl who turns Carol’s head and steals her heart.
A safe bet come Oscar-time, Carol is one of the best of the year. Absolutely unmissable.
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:
Pam Grady: Todd Haynes returns with his first feature in nearly a decade with the highly anticipated Carol, an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as a shopgirl and an older married socialite in love who pursue a relationship despite the 1950s era.
Nell Minow: Carol looks like one of the best films of the year, with lots of festival buzz and two brilliant actresses.
Director: Todd Haynes
Release Date: Nov 20, 2015
Running Time: 118 mins
Principal Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Screenwriter: Phyllis Nagy, from the novel by Patricia Highsmith
Production Companies: Number 9 Films, Film4, Killer Films
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.
Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, AWFJ.org Associate Editor