Carol already looks like it could be one of the big players in the forthcoming awards season rush. Directed by the always alluring Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, I’m Not There), written by renowned theatre dramatist Phyllis Nagy, and revolving around a weighty subject matter, there's no denying that Carol has plenty of things going for it. However, it’s the lead performances of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara that have most people excited. The first trailer for Carol puts them front and center, and they look magnificent
Carol certainly does look sumptuous. Especially since its luscious 1952 setting is being shot by Todd Haynes, who proved with Far From Heaven just how well equipped he is to present this period through a modern lens. The fact that Carol is also set in New York City during this time should give Haynes plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the style and mood that was glowing during the early '50s.
But what will really be key to Carol’s success is the pairing of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, two actresses that are currently at the top of their game. Blanchett stars as Carol Aird, who begins a torrid love affair with the young female department store clerk, Therese Belivet, played by Mara, that obviously threatens her relationship with her husband, Harge Aird (Kyle Chandler), as well as her guardianship of her son.
By this point, we know what we’re going to get from Cate Blanchett: effortless class and a mesmeric performance. In fact, it almost staggers belief just how ridiculously consistent the Australian actress has been throughout her career. She’s already picked up plenty of accolades and gongs for her portrayals, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her part in The Aviator, while she went one better with Blue Jasmine by picking up the Oscar for Best Actress.
But even though she’s opposite arguably the Meryl Streep of her generation in Cate Blanchett, it’s Rooney Mara who has been receiving just as many, if not more, plaudits for her work in Carol. In fact, after the film premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Mara tied for the Best Actress award.
This is hardly surprising, because since The Social Network, and with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Side Effects, and Her, Mara has continued to rise in stature, proving that she’s way more than just cute and mousey, and has the ability to be dark, conniving, and sultry when needed. It sounds as if with Carol she’s raised her game even further. We’ll see just how impressive both Mara and Blanchett are when it’s released on November 20, 2015.