Who needs a stripper on a pole when you can experience the most exquisite sexual build up between two people in the history of film with the new period drama Carol.
Our girl Cate Blanchett does an outstanding job as 1950s socialite Carol Aird, a woman who is going through a bitter divorce as she fights for child custody trying to keep her lesbianism on the down low. But her sappho love can’t be kept in a box especially when she meets young department store clerk Therese Belivet (perfectly portrayed by Rooney Mara) in a Manhattan emporium in search of a Christmas gift for her daughter Rindy. Although there’s a substantial age and class difference between the two women, their instant attraction for each other is genuine. From her doll department counter and donned in her required Santa’s hat, Therese can’t help but stare across the way at well dressed Carol in perfect make-up, hair and scarlet colored nails, wearing a gorgeous tan mink coat, Calot red hat and gold jewelry. The women lock eyes for a pleasurable second but then Carol vanishes. She re-appears minutes later in the doll department announcing herself by plopping her leather gloves down on the counter. Therese is pleasantly surprised and a bit startled by this sophisticated woman now standing before her.
Carol finds out the store no longer carries the doll she wants but she purchases a train set based on the recommendation of Therese. This is basic customer service interaction but the two include quick desirous stares and quiet flirtation that is so damn charming. They’re naturally keeping their intense chemistry in low gear because two women being romantic is illegal in 1952.
From this point forward, we see the many graceful, beautiful and complex layers of the women falling in love. This is achieved elegantly through the collaboration of director Todd Haynes, screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, cinematographer Edward Lachman, costume designer Sandy Powell, make-up and hair stylists, lighting designers—so many crew members and of course the commitment to character by Blanchett and Mara.
All the actors do a great job but Cate and Rooney have already received award nominations for Best Actress—I’m rooting for a tie.
There were many moments when I wanted the worldly lesbian Carol to plant a big fat hot kiss on Therese’s virgin lips. From the back of the theater I was politely shouting—“Shove your tongue down her throat!” But that’s not how Carol and Therese build their mojo. They let their love smolder as they meet for lunches, go to each others’ homes and take a road trip. Finally on their third night in a motel room, it’s New Year’s Eve and they’re both feeling relaxed, Carol initiates a deep tender kiss and Therese responds all the way baby! The women move to the bed, clothes are removed and Carol attempts to turn the lamp off but Therese tells her, “No—I want to see you.” Timber! Look out below!
I was relating to the characters and suspenseful desire—two elements of the story that reminded me of my first girlfriend. She was older and so womanly—always in dresses and heels. She owned a couple of homes and I had a crew cut and a paper route. On our second date as we sat in front of the fire place, I wanted her to kiss me so badly but it didn’t happen because she didn’t want to freak me out. But man, I wanted her to pounce on me—hard! And there was no way I was going to initiate our love rituals because she was the vet—not me. Finally on our third date she gave me this amazing soft sensual kiss that led to sex so powerful—my ovaries shot right out of my vagina!
Carol is based on the unique 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, a writer who used personal experience for the plot. Go see this mesmerizing love story on the big screen today!
Catch Monica performing at Brava’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Fiesta Dec 31, 2015. Latino Power Edition
Doors & bar open 8pm. Showtime 9pm. After show countdown party includes champagne & dancing til 1am!
Comedy line up:
MC Marga Gomez, Monica Palacios, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Chris Storin, Betty Pazmiño and Lydia Popovich. Brava Theater
2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110