Carol ★★★★½

Exquistite. A neatly structured and well paced story, beautiful cinematography, wonderful period detail, and a gentle score whos main theme keeps repeating in my head. The two main performances are a real treat. Cate Blanchett’s Carol is stately and elegant yet coquettish; while Rooney Mara’s Therese is demure, timid and uncertain about everything except her desire for Carol. Their relationship and interactions are pensive and cool, yet both women play their roles as if masking a simmering desire that is wonderfully conveyed in their expressions and builds inexorably. When their love scenes eventually come, it’s like an emotional orgasm. Both actresses are excellent and their age gap melts away almost immediately. Good support too from Kyle Chandler who is ostensibly their antagonist but is shown to be a man still hurt and in unrequited love with his wife. The social commentary is understated and unassuming and in terms of ‘marginalised group face historic adversity’; it's laughably superior to the trashy Hidden Figures ("look, bigotry! Here's some bigots, being all bigoted!"). After seeing this I might downgrade my score for that miserable film even further. This however is genuine and tender, yet unsentimental and classy.