Oscar Season Challenge – Carol (2015)

Rob and I have decided to make a twist on the challenge where we will be looking at Oscar related films first before moving into going back to look at different Oscar winners from the past.

carolDirector: Todd Haynes

Writer: Phyllis Nagy (Screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (Novel)

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lucy, Sarah Paulson, John Magaro, Cory Michal Smith


Plot: Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wonderful Romantic Story


Story: Carol starts as we fellow department shop clerk Therese (Mara) getting ready for the Christmas rush in the toy department, she has herself a boyfriend Richard (Lacy) who wants her to marry him but she just isn’t ready yet. Her life gets turned upside down when she meets the older woman Carol (Blanchett) who is also going through her own problems with her husband Harge (Chandler) trying to take her children away because of her lesbian liaisons.

With both their partners putting pressure on them the two go away together for Christmas as they have to keep their relationship hidden from the world who would frown on it in 1950’s America.

Carol shows the difficulty in any potential relationship between the same sex during the 1950s, it also tackles the ideas of different ages between any relationship too. We get to see how without technology people would different ways to expose affairs. While this really is just a love story and a good one at that it is it will show how different times were for something that wouldn’t even get looked at twice now a day.


Actor Review


Cate Blanchett: Carol is the married woman who has had a family but isn’t interested in the attention of men even though her lesbian tendencies are frowned upon by in the 1950s. she is going through messy divorce which leaves her in a position of losing her children, but Therese gives her a chance to be happy while all these things are going on. Cate gives us yet another brilliant performance proving she always gives the best performance year on year.carl character

Rooney Mara: Therese is the young department shop clerk who isn’t sure where her life will go next, she has a boyfriend who wants to marry her but when she meets Carol she automatically gets the desire to be with her. She ends up having a Christmas holiday learning something new about herself and life along the way. Rooney continues to show her talent in this role where she shines next to one of the best in the business.therese

Kyle Chandler: Harge is the husband of Carol who is tired of all her affairs but wants to keep the children in the right set of mind being raised correctly, that is until he reaches his final straw and wants to take away her children. Kyle gives us a good supporting role even if we would have liked to see slightly more in the character.

Sarah Paulson: Abby is a former lover of Carol’s who’s almost become part of the family, she questions the desire behind the desire to Therese but remains loyal to Carol for all the personal issues going on. Sarah is good in this role giving a good supporting role.

Support Cast: Carol has a good supporting cast that all do their jobs well through the film.

Director Review: Todd HaynesTodd gives us a very good romantic story from start to finish.


Drama: Carol shows the difficultly of being involved in this type of relationship during the 1950s.

Romance: Carol has a beautiful romantic story that goes through all the problems that could be around during the time period.

Chemistry: Carol shows great chemistry between Cate and Rooney.

Music: Carol uses the music very well through the whole film.

Settings: Carol creates the settings that make you feel like in the 1950s from start to finish.

Suggestion: Carol is one to watch but I do understand that some people will find this not their cup of tea. (Watch)


Best Part: Cate and Rooney’s performances.

Worst Part: Subject isn’t for everyone.


Believability: While the story is fictional the difficulties would have be true.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for 5 Golden Globes including Best Picture Two Best Actress and Best Director.

Oscar Chances: Could easily get nomination and wins when it comes to Oscars.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: Some people change your life forever


Overall: Wonderful Love story against all the odds