The film is set in 50s. Therese is a young girl, who works behind a toy counter. She has a boyfriend and a group of male friends but something is missing. One day Carol, a very elegant blonde appears in the store. Their first interaction is business-like, but in reality it is a flirtatious scene, pierced with the thrill of danger. Carol and her husband Harge are separated and are fighting over their young daughter. We are given an indication that its probably Carol’s lesbian past with her closest friend Abby that is a reason for their separation. Carol is unsettled by her attraction towards Therese. She is older, richer and refine but can’t help her attraction to Therese which could even end up being dangerous. Therese doesn’t know what she wants. She is exploring herself. When the custody battle for the daughter starts getting ugly, Carol decides to go on a road trip and asks if Therese would like to join. To her boyfriends immense displeasure and surprise, she ends up going with Carol on the road trip where they both discover love and fondness for each other over a period of next few days. The road trip is running from something and towards a place where their relationship has a possibility of existing. But will there be happy ending? Marge’s appointed personal investigator find the 2 women together which now risks Carol’s chances of getting joint custody of her daughter based on immorality clause. Remember this is 50s. Carol leaves Therese for her daughter, and they both are individually trying to get back their life together, trying to be away from each other for the sae of Carol’s love for her daughter. Months pass and the ladies meet again> carol is ready to take her chances again and have Theresa in her life but would Therese forgive Carol for what she did to her?
The acting in this film is quite interesting, specially from Cate. She sometimes feel theatrical but I guess given that the film is set in the 50s, that was the demand of the film, also taking into account her social stature. She has fear yet confidence, self-doubt yet love. Rooney mara in my opinion has a more interesting role. She has no background that we are told. The way she behaves is very different to Carol, to her friends and to her boyfriend. She portrays the role of a shy girl doing out of her shell brilliantly, and how intimadated she is by Carol. The film shows us the mystery with which gay people in the 1950s could manage their lives with dignity, but it also inhales the clouds of depression and self-control into which Carol has had to retreat and from which she is now defiantly emerging.
The film is sad, depressing yet uplifting at the same time. Only if the film wasn’t as slow as it is, I would have rated it even higher but overall this sad love story impressed me. (7/10)