Carol ★★★★½

LGBTQ+ Pride Film Challenge (9/?)

9. A Film by an LGBT Director

Abby: Tell me you know what you're doing.
Carol: I don't. [she looks at Abby and smiles slyly] I never did.

Therese receives two touches in the first five minutes, one from Carol who she shares secret smiles and engages in silent conversations and one from the man who has interrupted their private moment outside of the world. The first touch is framed so that we may see her face and the way in which she turns her head toward Carol's gentle touch. The second touch, we see her back and the lack of response to the mans touch. This tells us everything we need to know, no exposition needed.
Caressing ones shoulder becomes a thematic gesture between the lovers, a show at intimacy that goes unnoticed.

This narrative choice of starting the film at its ending, establishes the plot and creates a build up to the very moment we see. Inside Llewyn Davis uses this technique in a similar way. It frames the story. Todd Haynes direction gives the choices made throughout the production weight. As someone who is LGBT himself, he appears to have a key understanding of the queer experience. Similar to Love, Simon this film is aware of it's primary audience: the LGBT community. Not only does it cater to it's audience but it celebrates them.

This film is all about framing. Several shots taken from the film feel like photographs. Therese theorizes that taking pictures of human subjects is far more intimate. So ensues many close up images of Carol in her fashionable attire and these feel as Therese states 'intimate'. As we are seeing Carol through Therese's eyes. We are witnessing the intimacy and warmth shared between the pair.

A sun stroked sky, an impulsive drive into the outskirts, two women sink into an embrace, a melancholic score caresses the ears. Everything appears easy and blissful. It's not. But it's a nice feeling.

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