Hungkat’s review published on Letterboxd:
Carol is a benevolent force of nature; a woman who gently peels back one thick layer after another that covered a person’s heart. A deep look at entrapment behind closed doors; at pain and freedom under a glossy veneer – a cage of societal conformity, prejudice and suppression. What does the heart want? Escape is the only option and Carol knows it. She's a normal person behind all the glossiness, solely looking for something that’s forbidden, true love. Silences pass between two women as restrained feelings well up in a gushing ache; romantic desires culminate in a freight train of emotions that quietly comes crashing down, "I miss you. I miss you."
Now what happened with Therese... I wanted. And I will not deny it.
Grainy cinematography adds more depth and realism to the naturality of 1950s New York City, coloring the sentimentalities of our characters, making us feel like we are in the moment. Everything comes together authentically and gracefully with Todd Haynes poetic vision and tactful direction, exquisite wintery colour palette, Carter Burwell’s heavenly romantic score that echoes off the very heart and most importantly, the performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. A high-art tale that is so calm as if rain falling on vast sea, striking on the hard surface without causing any disturbance to what’s underneath…but the effects are still there to resonate across the harbor and paralyze our senses.
The young lady's aloofness is shown through the car's window as a great tinge of melancholia surges through. Scintillating lights reflect off the glistering glass, twisting the flow of time. Tender affection spreads out and emanates in serenity through every glance Therese made with her whirlpool eyes. Carol is there, coming down like an angel, subtly seductive with her red-lipped elegance to lure Therese into a dreamy lovescape that’s so immersive and enchanting, even with hidden stakes lurking around the corner. A final secret glance that becomes shared, intoxicates feelings into smothering smoke clouds. Goodbye to lonesome parties, humdrum routines and forceful romance because this love breaks boundaries. Freedom reigns with a quietly spoken romanticism and this is the gentlest reverie of them all.
An amour that is as poetic as it is problematic in the most humane way. In a daze of beauty, similar to the Laika Dog being catapulted upward, baby we're flung out of space.