Based on Patricia Hightower's novel The Price of Salt, the film Carol takes place in the 1950s, when attitudes about romantic love were much less liberal than they are today. With lush costumes and gorgeous settings that dazzle the eye in jewel tones that look fuzzy through grainy 16 mm film, Carol is more than a piece of eye candy — it feels like we're watching Blanchett and Mara take a bite of the forbidden fruit. And the fruit is delicious.
While the film is an emotionally daring romantic tale, it unfolds like a crime novel because a romance between two women, at least at that time, needed to be kept a secret. For Carol (Blanchett), much is at stake. Carol has a young daughter at the center of a custody battle between her and her estranged husband Harge (Kyle Chandler). A private investigator follows Carol, looking to uncover any behavior that could be used against her in court.
But it's the character of Therese (Mara) on which the story pivots. Therese is very young and just starting to discover who she is. When she meets Carol, their connection is electric. But young Therese has no idea what it all means. Meeting Carol could be the best thing to happen to her, or the most painful.
In our exclusive clip, Blanchett raves about working with Mara, saying, "She's fantastic… She's just not fazed by anything, really, even in terms of her temperament on set, but then where she can go emotionally and physically and psychologically — it really belies that ability."
Director Todd Haynes also gushes about Mara. "Rooney is just an impeccable talent. I feel like she understands the medium of film, and for somebody this age to know how to calibrate the scale of articulation for this intimate medium, I think it speaks to extraordinary intelligence and innate ability."
Watch our exclusive clip to find out Mara's thoughts on Carol, currently playing in theaters.
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