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Past Films

Staff Picks: Carol (2015)

  • Starring: Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler
  • Director: Todd Haynes
  • Genre(s): Drama, Romance
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 118 min.

Staff Picks Series
Every month a member of the Moxie staff picks a film that impacted their lives and we put it up on the big screen. February’s pick was made by Hannah Brashers.
“This film is a beautiful representation of how two people connect on a deeply visceral level in a way that transcends the barriers of their time. This movie was impactful to me because queer love is so often highly sexualized and this film shows that loving women is not just about sex. I’ve seen Carol no fewer than 50 times and each time I watch it, it empowers me in a different way. Carol actually inspired me to come out to my family. I watched it one night and found myself crying at the beauty of Carol and Therese’s love. Right then, I made up my mind to come out the next day because queer love is too beautiful to be ashamed of. And that’s what I want to share with my friends and my community.”

Free for Members

Summary: Set in 1950s New York, two women from very different backgrounds find themselves in the throes of love. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) threatens her competence as a mother when Carol’s involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) comes to light. As Carol leaves the comfort of home to travel with Therese, an internal journey of self-discovery coincides with her new sense of space. [TWC]

"Haynes directs with a subtle precision, the script by Phyllis Nagy is a well-crafted gem, and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara make for one of the most intriguing and memorable movie couples of the year."
- Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
"Mara and Blanchett are each extraordinary, working in the most organic and soul-stirring ways."
- Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Even if it didn't have a spellbinding central performance from Cate Blanchett, Carol would be worth seeing just for its sumptuous re-creation of an era...Todd Haynes' film is luminescent - like a perfectly preserved Kodachrome image."
- Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/
"Carol is a complex human story about unspoken desire, social expectations and an authentic life."
- Liz Braun, Toronto Sun
"Carol is a haunting motion picture - the kind of film that stays with the viewer long after the multiplex's neon signage has disappeared from the rear-view mirror."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"'Carol' establishes a mood of mournful romance, half nostalgic and half ominous, that never lets go."
- Andrew O'Hehir,
"Carol simmers with unspoken emotion and desire, condensing volumes into the Brief Encounter-style touch of a hand on a shoulder, into the offer of a whiff of perfume on a pulse point, into Billie Holiday recordings and Carter Burwell's expressive score."
- Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed News
"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."
- Justin Chang, Variety