The Vermont Cynic

‘Carol’ crosses social barriers but misses nomination


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Abeautiful and sensual love story between two women is making waves this Academy Award season.

Set in 1952 in New York City, “Carol” begins when Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) and Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) meet in a department store.

Carol, who has a young daughter and is going through a divorce, intrigues the innocent Therese with her charm and sophistication.

Carol exudes the confidence Therese lacks, and the two quickly develop a nurturing friendship despite their large age gap and class difference.

As the women become closer, what started as fleeting glances and timid caresses turns into a full on love affair.

“Carol” is directed by Todd Haynes and based off the novel “The Price of Salt,” written by the late Patricia Highsmith. Highsmith was famed for psychological thrillers, and the influence of this genre is evident in the way danger looms over Carol and Therese as their passionate affair becomes more intense and complex.

The haunting but deeply romantic soundtrack enhances the ominous threat the lovers face.

This danger stems from the two women breaking societal barriers across age, class and through their same-sex relationship, which was seen as a sickness and perversion at the time.

Most importantly, “Carol” illustrates what happens when two people fall deeply and unapologetically in love.

The intimacy and devotion the women share is breathtaking. Blanchett and Mara excellently depict their passionate romance.

Blanchett is electric and enticing as the lead actress, in contrast to Mara’s quietly powerful performance.

Although both Blanchett and Mara are nominated for Academy Awards, and “Carol” is nominated for best cinematography, costume design, original score

and adapted screenplay, the film is not nominated for best picture.

This has audiences perplexed and disappointed.

Both Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply of the New York Times claim ‘Carol’ was “overlooked” for the best picture nomination as such a powerful, ground breaking film.

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‘Carol’ crosses social barriers but misses nomination