MUCH like he did in Far From Heaven, director Todd Haynes returns to the 1950s to explore an affair a housewife has with a woman during a time when society did not approve it.

Based on the novel The Price Of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, Carol tells the story of a woman of the same name in a loveless marriage who begins an affair with a department store clerk. Carol, played by Australia’s Cate Blanchett, soon must take many risks for the woman she loves.

[showads ad=MREC] Living in 1950s New York, Carol and Therese can not make their relationship public.When they meet and they are out in public, they find other ways to express their love for each other, whether it be through affectionate glances and other subtle gestures. You become amazed at how much can be expressed without saying anything.

What I also liked about the film was that while Carol and Therese each have a man in their lives, neither are demonised and they are realistic characters. While the men not enlightened about the relationship which the women are exploring, they are simply a product of the times and a reflection of society.

Carol could almost be a sequel to Far From Heaven in the look of the film and the way it explores a same-sex relationship at a time when society would not accept it. Todd has a way of immersing you in the period with his production and costume design and Carol is no different. His films look exquisitely beautiful. They have a grace and style to them which almost makes them look like fairy tales. However, there is still a strong message about love and the many forms it can take.

I think it is impossible for Cate Blanchett to give a bad performance. She is amazing in every film she acts in. While she has played high society women before, she portrays Carol with such elegance and grace. Rooney Mara is known for playing strong independent women but in Carol she plays a character that on the surface seems strong and independent but inside seems vulnerable as she explores an aspect of her life that is new and fresh. Meanwhile, Kyle Chandler gives a well rounded performance as Carol’s estranged husband.

Carol has already picked up many awards and no doubt it will pick up more. While these accolades are deserved, the film is just amazing on its own merits.

Carol will be released in cinemas around Australia on Thursday, January 14. Watch the trailer:

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