Blanchett and Mara shine in gorgeous 'Carol'

ROONEY MARA and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL (The Weinstein Company)

4 out of 5 Stars
Todd Haynes
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Recommended To: Those in search of a beautifully shot love story between two women featuring excellent performances.

(KUTV) -- Synopsis: Carol (Cate Blanchett), an older woman in a troubled marriage, falls in love with Therese (Rooney Mara), a quiet store clerk with dreams of becoming a photographer.

Review: Set in 1950s New York City, "Carol" is a gorgeous film courtesy of cinematographer Edward Lachman, costume designer Sandy Powell ("The Young Victoria") and director Todd Haynes ("Far from Heaven"). It features a fantastic cast and a smart screenplay by Phyllis Nagy (based on Patricia Highsmith's novel "The Price of Salt"). The film landed just outside of my top 20 of 2015, but I'm not exactly sure how. Mistakes do happen.

"Carol," much like the romance it features, is a slow burner. Rather than laying everything out on a plate the film offers small morsels of information that allows the relationship between Carol and Therese to develop alongside the exploration of Carol's marriage to Harge and the family politics that go along with it.

Blanchett brings a sense of confidence to her role, which makes the inevitable unraveling all the more interesting. Rooney Mara is wide-eyed and beguilingly innocent until the coming-of-age twist robs her of her naïve disposition. In the end "Carol" is an quiet tragedy born from the "ideal" nature of an era when being different in any regard was often viewed as a very bad thing.

Follow Ryan on Twitter for entertainment and movie news: @ryanMpainter

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