Foggy’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film, my god, it's fucking brilliant.
Todd Haynes builds on a terrific career with a phenomenal period romance following an affair between a young shopping clerk and a wealthy housewife. It's really nothing else, but the way the two are affective is just magnetic, it's a film that's about two things. The emotions and the period.
The design here is just intoxicating, from the costumes to the 50's sets, there's a real sense of being plucked out and placed in this time, with just a real sense of worldliness to it, the cafes, shopping centres, streets, motels just feel alive, brimming with people and stories, and the one we're following is just one of many. The trance like cinematography paint landscapes and vistas or emotion on the performers faces, as much as the aesthetic draws you in, the performers just hook you.
And they're both fantastic, Rooney Mara plays the character like a curious onlooker, quiet and inquisitive, she has little sense of direction but a huge amount of passion. It's seen in her photographs, she never quite sees what she's photographing, but she sees beauty and captures it. While Cate Blanchett plays the titular Carol, more world wary, she's drawn to Mara's Teresa because of that same lack of direction. Unhappy with her husband, the film shows the consequences of her affair, and where most films would contrive away between herself and her lover, the film never slumps in such a way, she ultimately just can't help herself even at the cost of her child in the moment.
The film has moments of melancholy and sadness, but it never loses it's fragrance, it's flavour, it's unique and raw identity. There's real passion and chemistry here, stronger than most films. This ultimately is something that I would love to create or at least be a tangible part of, not something broad or sweeping with technical speciality and grossing a bazillion dollars, but a film that sweeps you up with subtlety, sensuality and an overall tone of pure emotion. I love it, it's exquisite, don't skip it, don't miss it. If you're planning on seeing it, move up your plans. If you're not planning on seeing, change those plans. If you've seen it and didn't like it, see it again, and if you have seen it and did like it, the I know you are already planning to see it again. I know I will be at the soonest opportunity that arises.