A bunch of new enthusiastic reviews from the press screening of the New York Film Festival!
It’s hard to pull your eyes away from Cate Blanchett, who returns to the silver screen in Todd Haynes’ dazzling Carol. The film screened at this year’s New York Film Festival and tells of two women who fall in love at a time when doing so was detrimental. As the awards season continues to take shape, Blanchett’s performance is deserving of all the recognition that’s likely coming for her her and the film.
The subdued color palette paints the 1950s backdrop, and Blanchett sashays through its texture in luscious reds, greens, and pinks.
While Mara and Chandler deliver incredible performances, Blanchett is a vision to behold. It all comes back to that gaze, which is eloquently portrayed through the repeated use of mirrors and clouded glass; often times Therese and the camera view the object of affection through rain-stained car windows or in the blurred reflections of storefront displays. She doesn’t hold back, fearlessly tackling the intimate moments with Mara when their gaze is but a nose-length long. However, Blanchett truly comes alive in the subtle changes in expression. As we gaze into her eyes, she stares just as intently into Mara’s from across a table. She slowly, gracefully, expertly raises the corners of her lips into a soft smile, her eyes begin to pool with tears, and it becomes clear that this film about first love, about forbidden love, transcends sexuality and womanhood.
In terms of the Oscars, Blanchett is catnip for Academy voters. While Carol itself touts the theme of LGBT oppression, it’s also a period film, both of which are a part of the Oscars’ long history of standouts. It’s also a film which impresses at every level, including cinematography, costumes, directing, supporting talent, and writing. Carol seems like a potential contender for Best Picture and Supporting Actress, but it all comes back to Blanchett.
via Cinema Blend
“I can’t wait to see the new Cate Blanchett movie,” is not a sentence I ever recall hearing. Not in the way we might hear, “I can’t wait to see the new Sandra Bullock movie,” or, “I’m looking forward to the new Hugh Jackman movie.” Blanchett has become a given; someone we don’t talk about a lot even though we always like her work. Blanchett, a two-time Oscar winner, is not spoken of the way we usually talk about “movie stars,” yet for an actor we all appreciate a lot, we don’t appreciate her enough. And after seeing Carol, hell, she may be the only true movie star working today.
In a way, it’s weird that Cate Blanchett is in movies like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — because those movies were mass commercial successes, yet we don’t think of her as someone who does those kinds of movies. Somehow, since American audiences got to know her back in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Blanchett has maybe become the least-famous really famous person.
My point is: Cate Blanchett is the best actor working today and this should just be accepted as fact, to the point no one ever needs to make a case for her again. Look, in the past, I’ve been guilty of taking Blanchett for granted. She was obviously great in Blue Jasmine, winning an Academy Award for Best Actress. But there was something about it being a Woody Allen movie, and the fact that a lot of people win these kinds of things when they work for Allen. Watching her in Carol (which is currently screening at the New York Film Festival), I will never take her for granted again.
Nothing takes me out of a movie more than bad exposition. In Carol, Blanchett, who plays the title character, Carol Aird, can give years of backstory with one look. It’s uncanny. In seconds, we understand the pain of her failed marriage to Harge.
There’s a scene near the end of the movie that’s just a phone call between Carol and Therese. If I remember correctly, only one word is spoken. It’s immensely powerful. The way Blanchett almost caresses the voice coming from the other side. Again, with no words, we understand everything. Carol manages to punch such an emotional wallop without using the tropes that most movies use. Put it this way: the ending legitimately surprised me. I was expecting something that we all come to expect. I was not expecting what we wind up seeing and for it to still hit that hard.
And as good as Mara is in Carol, Blanchett is a true force. I couldn’t take my eyes off Blanchett. Everything she does in this movie is captivating. And it’s interesting to compare her work here to another awards contender, Truth. In many ways, on paper, Truth is the meatier role. Blanchett acts in that movie. But in Carol, there’s something much more, almost spiritual, happening. She grasps onto you and doesn’t let go.
In this world in which the movie star is disappearing, replaced by endless franchises: Cate Blanchett is a movie star. Cate Blanchett is the only movie star. Cate Blanchett is the movie star we deserve.
Now it’s “The Breathtaking Carol”, where another female protagonist is been seen in her finest form. Cate Blanchett serves one of her most realistic approach with her character in her entire acting resume. She is being applauded with diverse recognitions that she deserves well for her outstanding performance in the Todd Haynes’ fascinating movie.
Cate especially, has broken all the boundaries to get under the skin of Carol, the character she essayed on the silver screen.
The performances are predictably astonishing; Mara has a way of conveying the fullness of her character in an offhand line reading, and the variations in Blanchett’s tight smile tell, in their own way, the film’s entire story.