With the Dryness – Carol (2015)

Not for me.  So back in the 1950’s, the only type of acceptable relationship in society was the traditional type between a man and a woman that typically resulted in marriage.  This is the story of a young shopgirl (Rooney Mara) falling for an older woman named Carol (Cate Blanchett).  This has been getting a lot of recognition and accolades with a number of different groups of critics.  I knew I had to check it out because of the pair of acting nominations this received (as well as others), but I’ve watched trailers for this, and it just looked painfully dull.  I don’t know if that expectation colored my experience, but I could not for the life of me get into this movie, and I truly did give it an honest effort.

1But hey, maybe it’s just me; I am not, in fact, a lesbian woman.

Apparently, I’ve never seen a Todd Haynes movie before, but from what I hear, he’s an acquired taste.  The thing about this is that if you watch previews for this, that is exactly what you’re going to get, so at the very least Carol does not mislead you with advertisements like the movie Joy does.  It’s this forbidden love story which has been told many times before, but this time, it is between a youthful girl and a woman.  I thought that this might be perhaps just a situation of it being a niche audience type thing, but people have been responding to it across the board.  And don’t get me wrong, there is good stuff about this.  The cinematography is beautiful, all of the production values are there, and the acting is all committed and quality.  All of that is there, and yet, it is still plodding, tedious and as full of pensive and hesitant moments as it can be.

2There’s a lot of “I want to… but we shouldn’t” moments.

Carol makes me feel bad for criticizing The Danish Girl for being overly dry.  This is like being caught in the summer in the Sierra Desert without a flask of water.  I couldn’t grab onto anything here, and this movie left me in the dust.  I think this would have benefited greatly if there was just an ounce of humor to this; I’m not saying this needed to have been made as a slapstick comedy or anything, but everything is so drably serious, and it is to the point that a couple of chuckles would have gone a long way.  Carol is beautifully shot, but heinously boring, and I wish I could have liked it more.

Carol (2015) **1/2

– Critic for Hire


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