January 14 - CAROL (2015)

"What town is this?" "This?" "Yeah." "Waterloo. Isn't that horrible?"

Image credit: wp.com

Image credit: wp.com

CAROL is a beautiful movie. From the very beginning, I was hooked. It's immaculately directed - nothing flashy, everything subtly pitch-perfect - but Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett made CAROL truly phenomenal. I don't know who watched CAROL and decided Rooney Mara was a supporting actress (there are two leads! Two! That's the point!) but her performance was brilliantly nuanced and complemented Blanchett's otherworldly glamorous and reserved portrayal of the titular Carol Aird. 

Everybody should see CAROL. Each and every one of the characters feels three-dimensional and real. Beyond just Carol and Therese, there are friends and husbands and boyfriends and other men who are the de facto antagonists but are heartbreakingly realistic and flawed people. CAROL could easily be just the story of Therese and Carol's relationship, plagued by evil men at every turn, but it isn't. The men in CAROL are crass and selfish and mean and clumsy but none of it is a farce. I have so many feelings about CAROL but it's all overwhelmingly positive. You owe it to yourself to go see one of the best movies made in years, despite what some stuffy academy might think.

[I'm not linking the trailer here, because I watched it and it's bad. It's melodramatic and bulldozes over all the subtlety in the movie. Don't watch the trailer, just go watch the movie. As soon as you can.]

I loved CAROL. The cinematography, the performances, the settings, the costumes, the music (oh, the music) are all amazing. This is my favorite movie of 2016 so far, and probably my favorite movie of recent memory. Tomorrow (today, really, since I missed posting this yesterday): Recommended.