Movie Review: Todd Haynes goes back to the ’50s with a rapturous new romance, Carol

The most telling, period-defining moment in Carol, Todd Haynes’ superb adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price Of Salt (originally published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan), gets no particular emphasis and could easily be missed. It occurs not long after young aspiring photographer Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and middle-aged housewife Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) meet at the department store where Therese works, exchanging a few torrid glances but no overt declarations of romantic interest. Carol leaves her gloves on the counter—perhaps intentionally—and subsequently finds an excuse to bring Therese to her house, providing her with a grand tour. At this point, the two women haven’t so much as touched one another, much less voiced their attraction; both are models of Eisenhower-era propriety. Carol has removed her shoes, however, and when she hears her husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler), walk in the door, she immediately scrambles to …

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