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The Undeniable Majesty of Carol

The Undeniable Majesty of Carol

The undeniable Majesty of Carol
Photography by Wilson Webb/The Weinstein Company

Director Todd Haynes hits a new peak with his lush lesbian romance. 

Above: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in 'Carol'

Virtually every scene in Carol prompts a sigh or a swoon, and there's never one reason why. It's often a combination of the messy, layered love affair between the title character (Cate Blanchett) and the younger, wide-eyed Therese (Rooney Mara); the sweeping, operatic score by Carter Burwell; and director Todd Haynes's chosen aesthetic -- a sort of cloud-covered, yet rich, romanticism. "We tried to bring into the visual language the soiled colors and visual distress we saw in our research of New York [in the 1950s]," says Haynes, whose drama is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt.

Haynes has showered us with glitter and angel dust in Velvet Goldmine and enveloped us in Sirkian melodrama in Far From Heaven, but Carol may show him at his most majestic -- not to mention his most feministic. "The lesbianism may have been less of an obstacle than the fact that it's a film without a male lead," Haynes says. "I felt privileged to tell this story. First love of any kind can be fraught with anxiety, but for Therese, it's a love she has no example for in the world. Every gesture, every look bristles with potential meaning and significance." The same can be said of Carol itself.

Carol opens in select theaters Nov. 20. Watch the trailer below:

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