I went to watch Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015) on Saturday night. I did not know much about it, just that the Guardian had given it 5 stars. In my opinion, that counts as a must-see. I was thrilled to discover that it had two strong female protagonists Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Both actresses have starred in what I would call Feminist movies, from Blue Jasmine to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. They both play their roles extremely well and it was extremely intriguing to see patriarchy challenged so intensely within a film set around 60 years ago. For me, it was extremely liberating.
The lead character Carol was definitely iconic to me and it displayed how brutal homosexuality and divorce was way back when. It is great to compare them times to now and see the progression that we are constantly experiencing. I did a little background research after watching it, the story line was of course based on a real story! The author Patricia Highsmith wrote about her experiences meeting a woman that she fell in love with on that very toy counter in Bloomingdales, the novel was named ‘The price of salt’.
Due to the issues of equality during this time, it was illegal to publish content about gay people. There has been a previous attempt at converting this novel into a film but unfortunately Carol was turned into a male role called Carl, signifying that the traditional family norms were not yet ready to be challenged on tv. I guess this is what gives the film such a liberating feeling. We can now pay directors to make films about these people’s real life stories and what’s even better is that it is receiving 5 stars in The Guardian. Hoorah!