I can’t really add much to the many laudatory reviews out there that do Carol more than justice. It really is an excellent movie: beautifully shot, atmospheric, and deeply moving. Strangely enough, the Academy ignored its filmic qualities, but at least they were able to appreciate the truly marvelous acting, especially by Cate Blanchett, whose mannered but touching portrayal of Carol is wonderful to watch. Most memorable is her scene with her ex-husband and their respective lawyers, in which against all convention she shows what it really means to be the bigger person, and the better parent.
Often enough, however, it is the scenes in which almost no words are spoken: those special moments in which Carol and Therese, her object of desire, glance at each other longingly, testing the waters with subtle flirtation.
Carol is an old-fashioned love story with a twist: the age-old tale of love against all odds, against repression and a false sense of morality. But Carol has no activist agenda like Freeheld, for example. It’s more universal than that, and also much simpler. It’s about finding out what you truly want, and valuing the price of admission for your happiness.