Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) is an aspiring photographer who works in a toy department from Manhattan. While on the job, she meets a charming woman named Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), who is looking for a doll to buy for her young daughter, Rindy (Sadie Heim). After listening to Therese’s recommendation, Carol ends up purchasing the model train set for her child. The woman is having a difficult time in her personal life, struggling to rekindle her relationship with her neglectful husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler). On the other hand, Therese has a long-term boyfriend, Richard Semco (Jake Lacy), who wants to marry her and has been planning a romantic trip to Paris. However, Therese is uncertain about the future of their relationship and is considering a separation. Her friend, Dannie McElroy (John Magaro), also seems to have a crush on her and tries to kiss her, but she becomes uncomfortable and even more insecure about making a decision regarding her love life.
Eventually, Carol and Therese become more than mere acquaintances and the former invites her new friend to her home in New Jersey. After stopping to buy a Christmas tree, Therese takes photos of Carol and witnesses an argument between her and Harge, who is afraid she is having an affair. The two women grow closer together and Therese finally has the courage to end her relationship with Richard. But Harge threatens Carol that she will lose custody of Rindy if she continues her romance with Therese.
“A lush emotional melodrama along the lines of the films of Douglas Sirk, Haynes’ patron saint, “Carol” is often about its surfaces, their beauty contrasting with the scary duality of people, relationships.”
— Roger Ebert
“Todd Haynes’s love story is a long overdue one. Patricia Highsmith’s thrillers and their indelible characters like Tom Ripley have been catnip to dozens of filmmakers, from Alfred Hitchcock to Wim Wenders. Carol has waited 63 years but finally has the adaptation she deserved all along.”
“Mr. Haynes is a historian of feelings, of the unspoken and invisible traces of the libido.”
— The New York Times
Did You Know?
Carol is based on the real-life story of Virginia Kent Catherwood, a woman from Philadelphia who lost custody of her daughter after a taped recording of her and her lesbian lover surfaced and was used against her in court. The woman had a love affair with the original novel’s author, Patricia Highsmith. The latter published her book under the pen name “Claire Morgan”.
The motion picture was the most nominated film at the Golden Globes in 2015 (it garnered five nominations) and received a ten-minute long standing ovation at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (where it premiered internationally). Carol was appointed the best LGBT film of all time by the British Film Institute. Review our Gay Themed Films Here