×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cate Blanchett’s Lesbian Drama ‘Carol’ Sparks Early Oscar Buzz

The first reactions to Todd Hayne’s period romance “Carol” were some of the strongest of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where the lesbian drama starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara debuted to the press on Saturday night.

The Weinstein Co. release, which is adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, also drew attention for the 1950s costumes by Oscar winner Sandy Powell, who designed the costumes for Haynes’ “Far From Heaven.” It will be released Dec. 18, a prime awards season spot.

“Is ‘Carol’ Todd Haynes’ masterpiece? Probably. Achingly gorgeous from first frame to last,” tweeted U.K. movie site Total Film.

Anne Thompson of IndieWire wrote: “Blanchett & Mara carry Todd Haynes’ 50s lesbian romance Carol with glamorous allure. Strong contender for awards & beyond.”

Sasha Stone of Awards Daily said, “Weinstein is right in saying ‘Carol’ has the stuff. I think Hollywood will finally give Haynes the directing nod he so richly deserves. Rooney’s movie as much as Blanchett’s. Exceptional in every respect.”

“‘Carol’ is gorgeous and beautifully acted,” Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair said, while New York Daily News critic Jordan Hoffman called it “subtle, beautiful, brilliant.”

Other critics praised the film’s score from composer Carter Burwell, who also composed the music for Haynes’ Emmy-winning miniseries “Mildred Pierce” and for “Velvet Goldmine.” Glam rock story “Velvet Goldmine” won the Cannes prize for artistic contribution in 1998.

Haynes proved his talent at capturing the nuances of repressed mid-century emotions in 2002’s “Far From Heaven,” which starred Julianne Moore and received four Oscar noms.

If “Carol” does pick up an award at this year’s Cannes, it wouldn’t be the first lesbian drama to do so. In 2013, Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” won the festival’s Palme d’ Or.

“Carol,” co-starring Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson, world premieres in Cannes on Sunday evening.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Mindy Kaling Actors on Actors

    Why Mindy Kaling Turned to Social Media to Find the Lead of Her Netflix Series

    Constance Wu (“Hustlers”) and Mindy Kaling (“Late Night”) explained how the internet helped expand the casting pool for their projects during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” Wu began the interview: “When I did ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and they were looking for actors, it was crazy how many people said, ‘Well, there are [...]

  • Christian Bale and Matt Damon in

    Box Office: 'Ford v Ferrari' Races to First Place, 'Charlie's Angels' Collapses

    “Ford v Ferrari” left its box office competitors in the dust as the historical sports drama from Disney and 20th Century Fox sped its way to $31 million in North America. Directed by James Mangold and starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, “Ford v Ferrari” debuted ahead of expectations, thanks to strong word-of-mouth from moviegoers. [...]

  • In ‘Motherless Brooklyn,’ Edward Norton Takes

    In 'Motherless Brooklyn,' Edward Norton Takes on Timeless Power Struggles

    In Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” the ‘50s-set New York noir detective story he produced, directed, wrote and stars in, politics are never far from the surface. But they’re not the obvious parallels to any racist autocrats from New York of modern times, but instead focus on more timeless politics – the way disabled people and [...]

  • Gods of Mexico

    'Twentieth Century,' 'Dove and the Wolf,' 'Hurricane Season' Win Los Cabos Festival

    LOS CABOS  —  “The Twentieth Century,” Matthew Rankin’s crazed retelling of Canadian history, won the main Los Cabos Competition this Saturday, beating out a prestige lineup of some of the most notable festival standouts of the year. The win at Los Cabos, whose competition is focused on movies from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, adds [...]

  • 'Joker' Cinematographer Lawrence Sher Wins at

    'Joker' Cinematographer Lawrence Sher Wins at EnergaCamerimage Film Festival

    “Joker” cinematographer Lawrence Sher’s bid, along with director Todd Phillips, to try something “perhaps even a bit artful” won big Saturday in Torun, Poland as he took the top prize at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival. The Golden Frog for cinematography, along with the audience prize, went to his work filming Joaquin Phoenix in the [...]

  • Roberto Schaefer

    Netflix Image Enhancement Rules Take Cinematographers by Surprise

    A Netflix requirement that cinematographers capture films in HDR, or high dynamic range, has taken many by surprise, filmmakers say, but those at the 27th EnergaCamerimage festival in Poland seem increasingly accepting of the change. DP Roberto Schaefer, whose “Red Sea Diving Resort” screened at the cinematography fest in the historic city of Torun, said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content