Aaron Hendrix’s review published on Letterboxd:
I always spend New Year's alone, in crowds. But I'm not alone this year.
The first time I watched Carol, I was ill. As such, I have wanted to return to this film to give it my due attention.
There's a lot that I absolutely adore about Carol. Something I realized while playing Uncharted 4 was how much I love it when actors look at each other while the other isn't looking back. There's a certain ephemeral and potent intimacy inherent to the act that can tell volumes about a character. Carol is saturated with such moments. It's these quiet moments of sizzlingly intimate glances that make this film so special. So many lesser directors would fear their audience wouldn't 'get it', and so, would include some additional dialogue to explain exactly what is going on. Yet, Haynes's confindence in his actresses allows some utterly stunning visual storytelling to take place on screen.
The second thing I love about Carol is the way Haynes communicates these characters' isolation visually. Almost every scene where Therese is alone with a man or when a man enters the scene uninvited is framed by or shot through glass. Over the course of the film glass comes to represent the crushing isolation that Therese endures in a society utterly unwilling to even acknowledge her existence as a lesbian woman. She's separated from her customers by multiple layers of glass counter, her scene in the newsroom is shot through the window pane, the party is mostly shot from the exterior peeking in at her voyeuristically - as though to examine her through a magnifying glass.
There's a ton more to examine here, but Carol is a breathtakingly gorgeous and elegantly composed masterpiece. I give it a 5/5.