Carol (Movie)

Title — Carol
Available on — Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV
Production Country — United Kingdom, United States, Australia
Release Date — 2015
In the 1950s, a glamorous married woman and an aspiring photographer embark on a passionate, forbidden romance that will forever change their lives.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

Set in the backdrop of 1950s New York, “Carol” is a poignant tale of love and resilience that unfolds between two women from contrasting backgrounds. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt,” the film delicately explores the unexpected romance that blossoms between an aspiring young photographer, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), and an elegant older woman, Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), amidst the societal norms and challenges of the era.

Therese, a clerk at a Manhattan department store, yearns for a more fulfilling life when she crosses paths with Carol, who is entangled in a loveless marriage with her husband, Harge Aird (Kyle Chandler). As an immediate spark ignites between them, their initial encounter evolves into a profound connection that transcends their circumstances. While Carol seeks liberation from the confines of her marriage, Harge grows suspicious of her close bond with Therese and her friend Abby (Sarah Paulson).

As the Christmas season unfolds in 1950s New York, the relationship between Therese and Carol faces unforeseen challenges. Therese, who works at Frankenberg’s department store, finds herself drawn to Carol, who is navigating the complexities of her failing marriage. Their growing affection for each other forces them to confront the moral dilemmas and societal taboos of the time, pushing the boundaries of their relationship and testing their resolve to stay together.

Despite the societal constraints and personal struggles, Carol and Therese embark on a forbidden love affair, defying the expectations and restrictions imposed on them. The film captures the essence of their blossoming romance against the backdrop of a cold winter in New York, where their undeniable chemistry and genuine affection lead them into uncharted territory.

However, their love story takes a tumultuous turn when Harge discovers their relationship and uses it as leverage in his pursuit of custody for their daughter. The ensuing legal battle and emotional turmoil threaten to tear Carol and Therese apart, challenging the depth of their commitment and the sacrifices they are willing to make in the name of love.

“Carol” intricately weaves a tale of passion, resilience, and self-discovery as two women navigate the complexities of love and desire in a society that seeks to confine and suppress their feelings. Through exquisite cinematography, compelling performances, and a captivating narrative, the film offers a poignant portrayal of a love that defies conventions and stands the test of time, leaving a lasting impact on both the characters and the audience.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, Cory Michael Smith, Carrie Brownstein, Kevin Crowley, Nik Pajic

Actor/Actress Role
Cate Blanchett Carol Aird
Rooney Mara Therese Belivet
Sarah Paulson Abby Gerhard
Jake Lacy Richard
Kyle Chandler Harge Aird
John Magaro Dannie
Ann Reskin Florence
Nik Pajic Phil McElroy

đź’¬ Reviews and feedback

Alright, movie buffs, gather ’round because we’re about to dive into the lush, melancholic world of “Carol.” Imagine this: it’s a cold winter evening, you’re wrapped in your coziest blanket with a hot cup of cocoa in hand. Now, top it off with a film that feels like an emotional hug and a punch to the gut at the same time. That’s “Carol” for you! Or as I like to call it—cinematic hot chocolate laced with bittersweet nostalgia.

Todd Haynes has done more than just direct a film here; he’s crafted an intricate tapestry of emotions, longing glances, and unspoken words. If you’re wondering whether “Carol” is worth watching—spoiler alert—it absolutely is! But let’s break down why this film has managed to etch itself into our hearts and stay there.

Plot: The narrative centers around Therese Belivet (played by Rooney Mara), an aspiring photographer who crosses paths with the enchanting Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), a woman navigating through her own troubled marriage. Their chance meeting at a department store counter sets off a chain reaction of emotions and events that are both captivating and heart-wrenching. This isn’t just another love story; it’s a forbidden romance set against the backdrop of 1950s societal norms—a time when such relationships were considered beyond taboo.

Themes and Tone: “Carol” is all about surfaces—both literal and metaphorical. The beauty of its period-accurate costumes and settings contrasts sharply with the hidden pain and duality of its characters. It’s like admiring a beautifully wrapped gift only to find layers upon layers of complex emotions inside. The film delves deep into themes of desire, repression, and the courage it takes to defy societal expectations for love.

Acting and Characters: Oh boy, where do I start? Cate Blanchett as Carol is nothing short of magnetic. She brings an air of aloof elegance mixed with soul-crushing vulnerability that makes you want to reach through the screen and give her a hug—or at least offer her some emotional support cocoa. Rooney Mara’s Therese is equally compelling; she perfectly captures the wide-eyed bewilderment and burgeoning self-awareness that come with falling in love for the first time. Their chemistry? Electric! It’s like watching two celestial bodies gravitate towards each other in slow motion.

Direction: Todd Haynes deserves all the accolades for orchestrating this symphony of suppressed desires so masterfully. His direction ensures that every glance, every touch carries weight—turning what could have been mere melodrama into something profoundly affecting.

Score: Carter Burwell’s score is hauntingly beautiful—it lingers long after the credits roll like an echo in an empty room. The music elevates each scene without overpowering it, making sure your heartstrings are thoroughly tugged.

Cinematography: Edward Lachman’s cinematography deserves its own standing ovation. Every frame looks like it could be hung in an art gallery—meticulous compositions bathed in soft light create an atmosphere that’s both dreamy and intensely intimate.

Binge-watching Tip #1: Keep tissues handy! You might think you’re tough but trust me, those tear ducts will get their workout by the end!

The production design transports you straight back to 1950s New York—the cars, clothing, even the department store displays scream authenticity. It’s so well done that you almost expect Don Draper from “Mad Men” to stroll past any second!

The special effects are subtle but effective—the use of period-appropriate color grading gives everything a slightly faded look as if we’re peering into memories rather than watching events unfold in real-time.

Edit-wise, there’s not much fat on this bone—the pacing is deliberate but never sluggish; each scene feels necessary contributing meaningfully either plot-wise or emotionally.

The dialogue—oh my stars—is sparse but potent! It’s often what isn’t said that resonates most deeply here; meaningful silences speak volumes more than flowery monologues ever could.

  • “What was your favorite part?”
  • “Do you think Therese made the right decision at XYZ moment?”

Feel free also compare notes if you’ve seen similar films like “Brokeback Mountain” or even something along lines Douglas Sirk classics!

In conclusion—and trust me I’m trying hard wrap up because honestly could gush forever about this gem: “Carol” isn’t just good—it transcends typical romance tropes becoming something truly extraordinary—a poignant exploration human connection amidst adversity.

If you’ve ever felt out-of-place yearning belong somewhere someone then prepare resonate deeply here… And hey maybe even shed few cathartic tears along way!

Rating:: 9/10

So grab those blankets cozy drinks let yourself swept away magical melancholic world “Carol”—where every glance counts words left unsaid linger long after lights come back…

Pros Cons
Great film adaptation Cliffhanger ending
Lush emotional melodrama Unresolved main couple fate
Beautiful surfaces and aesthetics Story based on true events but with fictional elements
Classy and elegant script Short runtime
Subtle handling of important subject Less dialogue and restrained drama


  • Carol (film) - Wikipedia


    Directed by Todd Haynes
    Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy
    Based on The Price of Salt

    by Patricia Highsmith

    Produced by
    Cinematography Edward Lachman
    Edited by Affonso Gonçalves
    Music by Carter Burwell


    Distributed by
    • StudioCanal (United Kingdom)
    • The Weinstein Company (United States)

    Release dates

  • Carol (2015) - IMDb

    • Nominated for 6 Oscars
      • 75 wins & 254 nominations total
    • Rindy Aird
    • (as Kennedy Heim)
    • Roberta Walls
    • (as Pamela Haynes)
    • Director
    • Writers
    • All cast & crew
    • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

    Did you know

    • TriviaThe character of Carol Aird was inspired by Virginia Kent Catherwood (1915-1966), a Philadelphia socialite six years older than Patricia Highsmith with whom the author had a love affair in the 1940s. Catherwood lost custody of her daughter after her homosexuality was used against her with a taped recording of a lesbian liaison she had in a hotel room. (“‘Instantly, I love her’: the affairs that inspired Carol”. The Telegraph, 28 November 2015)
    • GoofsWhen Carol and Therese are driving into the tunnel, Carol turns on the radio. This would have been impossible — in those days radios were AM, and the signal wouldn’t have carried. Back before FM was common, AM signals could cut out briefly even just driving under an overpass.
    • Quotes Carol Aird: [while driving back to Chicago] What are you thinking? You know how many times a day I ask you that? Therese Belivet: Sorry. What am I thinking? I’m thinking that I’m utterly selfish. Carol Aird: Don’t do this. You had no idea. How could you have known? Therese Belivet: And I should have said “No” to you but I never say “No”. And it’s selfish because… because I just take everything and I don’t know anything. And I don’t know what I want. How could I when all I ever do is say “Yes” to everything? [turns head and cries] Carol Aird: [pulls car to side of road and stops, moves close to Therese and caresses her face] I took what you gave willingly. It’s not your fault, Therese.
    • SoundtracksWillow Weep For MePerformed by Vince Giordano and The NighthawksWords and Music by Ann Ronell© Copyright by Bourne Co.Copyright RenewedRights for the world outside the U.S.A. controlled by Bourne Co.All rights for the United Kingdom controlled by Bourne Ltd.All rights reserved international copyright secured© Copyright 1932. Ann Ronell Music/ASCAP.All rights reserved. Used by permission.Master recording licensed courtesy of Starr Score Holdings, LLC

    Rooney and Cate captured what it’s like to be nervous yet excited while falling in love. It felt real. It felt like two people unsure of themselves, offering up just a bit of their true feelings at a time and waiting for the other person to do the same before revealing more.

  • Carol movie review & film summary (2015) | Roger Ebert

    Director Todd Haynes has spent a career exploring repression and conformity in films like “Safe,” “I’m Not There,” “Far from Heaven,” “Mildred Pierce” and now “Carol,” based on Highsmith’s novel (with adaptation by Phyllis Nagy). In “Carol,” Haynes turns his eye on the “invisible” lesbian sub-culture of the 1950s closet. A lush emotional melodrama along the lines of the films of Douglas Sirk, Haynes’ patron saint, “Carol” is often about its surfaces, their beauty contrasting with the scary duality of people, relationships. The surfaces in “Carol” are so seductive that one understands the ache to belong in that world.Therese (Rooney Mara) works behind the toy counter at a department store in New York City. She has a sort-of boyfriend (Jake Lacy, so good in “Obvious Child”), and a swirling group of pals (all men), but there is something about her attitude behind that counter that suggests Therese is waiting … for what she doesn’t know. Then Carol, an elegant blonde, appears across the store floor (the camera floats past Carol, and then reverses back quickly: the camera version of a double-take). Their first interaction is business-like, but in reality it is a flirtatious scene, pierced with the thrill of danger.

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the movie “Carol,” directed by Todd Haynes and based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel ‘The Price of Salt,’ the story is set in the early 1950s and follows the relationship between two women, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). The film beautifully captures the blossoming romance between these two characters amidst societal expectations and personal struggles.

The narrative begins with Therese, a young woman working in a department store, crossing paths with Carol, a sophisticated and alluring older woman going through a divorce. Their chance encounter sparks a deep connection, leading to a passionate relationship that defies the norms of the time. As they embark on a road trip during the Christmas holiday, their love for each other grows stronger, but challenges loom ahead.

Carol is entangled in a custody battle with her estranged husband, Harge, over their daughter, Rindy. The threat of losing custody intensifies as Harge uses underhanded tactics to prove Carol’s relationship with Therese as immoral. The couple’s idyllic bubble is burst when Carol decides to sacrifice her happiness to protect her daughter, leaving Therese heartbroken and abandoned.

The film’s ending is poignant and bittersweet, highlighting the sacrifices and complexities of love. In a moment of deep intimacy before their separation, Carol reassures Therese that their love was genuine and not her fault. She leaves a letter for Therese, explaining that sometimes in life, resolutions and explanations may not suffice, especially for the young, but time and experience will bring understanding.

Despite the heartache and separation, the film concludes on a note of hope and resilience, hinting at a future where the characters may find their way back to each other. “Carol” stands out for its portrayal of a same-sex relationship with depth, sensitivity, and a refusal to dwell on guilt or regret, opting instead to celebrate the beauty and authenticity of love.

đź‘Ş Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating and Parental Guide: Carol Movie

Age Rating: R (Restricted)

Parental Guide:

Sex & Nudity:

The movie includes a romantic relationship between two women in the 1950s, which involves kissing, affectionate moments, and implied sexual intimacy. While the scenes are tastefully done and focus on the emotional connection between the characters, the themes of love and desire are prevalent throughout the film.

Violence & Gore:

There is no explicit violence or gore in the movie. The focus is primarily on the emotional dynamics and societal challenges faced by the characters due to their forbidden romance.


Mild language is used sporadically throughout the film, including a few instances of profanity and some verbal confrontations. The language is not excessive but is present in certain scenes.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:

There are scenes where characters are shown drinking alcohol socially in social settings such as parties and dinners. Smoking is also depicted as common in the 1950s era portrayed in the film.

Thematic Elements:

The movie explores themes of love, desire, societal norms, and the challenges faced by individuals in expressing their true selves in a conservative 1950s setting. The emotional depth of the characters and their struggles with societal expectations are central to the storyline.

Recommended Age:

Due to the mature themes and romantic content, “Carol” is recommended for viewers aged 17 and above. The film’s focus on a same-sex relationship in a historical context may require parental guidance and discussion for younger audiences.

đź“ş Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Prime Video Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
Netflix In the 1950s, a glamorous married woman and an aspiring photographer embark on a passionate, forbidden romance that will forever change their lives.
Hulu In 1950s New York, two women fall in love and begin an illicit affair. Hulu free trial available for new and eligible returning Hulu subscribers only.
Apple TV Available on Paramount+, Prime Video, Hulu, Sling TV. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage.

âťť Quotes and Cult

  • Maybe that's the problem !
    Rooney Mara - Therese Belivet
  • Harge and I never spend New Year 's Eve together. There's always a business function, always clients to entertain.
    Cate Blanchett - Carol Aird
  • I've always spent it alone. In crowds.
    Therese Belivet
  • I don't. [she looks at Abby and smiles slyly] I never did.
    Carol Aird
  • You're trembling.
    Carol Aird
  • No, don't. I want to see you.
    Therese Belivet
  • I'll have the creamed spinach over poached eggs. And a dry martini with an olive.
    Carol Aird
  • I took what you gave willingly.
  • I'm fond of anyone I can really talk to.
  • The only thing you really know is you either are attracted or you're not. It's like physics, bouncing off each other like pinballs.
  • You're always the most beautiful woman in the room.
  • Just when you think it can't get any worse, you ...

🤖Carol Reddit Talks

Carol is a 2015 American romantic drama film directed by Todd Haynes and written by Phyllis Nagy, based on the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. The film stars Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird, an older woman in a loveless marriage, and Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet, a young woman who works in a department store. The film follows the two women as they fall in love and navigate the social and legal challenges of their relationship in the 1950s.

The film has been praised for its performances, direction, and cinematography, and has been nominated for numerous awards, including six Academy Awards. However, the film has also been criticized for its slow pace and lack of action.

One of the most striking things about Carol is its visuals. The film is beautifully shot, with a rich color palette and a keen eye for detail. The costumes are also stunning, and they help to create a sense of time and place. The film’s soundtrack is also noteworthy, and it features a mix of classical and jazz music that perfectly complements the film’s visuals.

The performances in Carol are also top-notch. Blanchett is excellent as Carol, and she brings a great deal of depth and nuance to the role. Mara is also excellent as Therese, and she perfectly captures the character’s innocence and vulnerability. The two actresses have great chemistry together, and their relationship is believable and moving.

However, the film’s slow pace and lack of action may be off-putting to some viewers. The film is very character-driven, and it takes its time to develop the relationship between Carol and Therese. There is very little action in the film, and the plot is fairly predictable. As a result, some viewers may find the film to be boring.

Overall, Carol is a beautiful and well-made film with strong performances. However, the film’s slow pace and lack of action may be off-putting to some viewers.

Here are some of the topics that have been discussed on Reddit about Carol:

  • The film’s beautiful visuals and costumes
  • The strong performances of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara
  • The film’s slow pace and lack of action
  • The film’s depiction of lesbian love in the 1950s
  • The film’s faithfulness to the source novel

Overall, Carol is a well-received film that has been praised for its visuals, performances, and direction. However, the film’s slow pace and lack of action may be off-putting to some viewers.

Top discussions

âť“ Frequently Asked Questions

Is Carol movie worth watching?

Carol is considered one of the better film adaptations in recent memory and has truly withstood the test of time. It is a masterpiece of melancholy longing that manages to avoid being devastatingly tragic or overly dramatic, making it a compelling watch.

Does the movie Carol have a good ending?

The ending of the Carol movie delivers a cliffhanger, leaving the fate of the main couple uncertain. However, the restaurant scene implies that Therese is willing to forgive Carol, hinting at the possibility of them starting a relationship together.

Why is Carol such a good movie?

Carol is praised for being a lush emotional melodrama, reminiscent of the films of Douglas Sirk. The film’s beauty, contrasts with the complexities of human relationships, creating a seductive and immersive world that resonates with viewers.

Is Carol based off a true story?

While Carol is not based on a true story, the character of Therese Belivet in the film is inspired by Patricia Highsmith herself. Additionally, the character of Carol Aird takes inspiration from Highsmith’s relationships with two former lovers.

What is the age gap between Carol and Therese?

In the novel and film adaptation, Carol is approximately ten years older than Therese, adding depth to their dynamic. The age difference plays a significant role in shaping the characters’ interactions and the overall narrative.

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