Set in 1950s Manhattan, you quickly understand why this tender tough tale of unexpected love is so stifling yet endearing. It’s during Christmas that Carol and Terese meet, and their meek advances take the film forward.
The mood is captured in simple yet detailed ways. There is an air of taboo but nothing melodramatic. Cate Blanchett’s very breath and eye contact screams her caged sexuality, whilst Rooney Mara is the docile yet determined girl who is prepared to be spontaneous and take risks.
The film moves slowly so you can take in all the nuances. It seems, so to speak, a gateway into the era, and is appropriately paced. Fortunately they haven’t shown stereotypes and prejudices which would be so strong at that time, rather making it a reasoned situation which can be seen purely for what it is.
Director Todd Haynes has made a sensitive film with the grace and dignity it deserves. It gives you a sense of freedom and responsibility while you get enraptured by the story telling.