118 minutes, U.S.A., 2015, Digital

This film was released on Friday 27th November 2015 and is no longer screening. 

Taking the form of an extended flashback, Todd Haynes’ (Far from Heaven, I’m Not There) exquisite film depicts the burgeoning relationship formed by upper-middle-class socialite Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara), a sales assistant at a department store. Behind her glamorous façade Carol’s emotional state is precarious – with her marriage on the rocks, she is facing a nasty custody battle for her daughter, all of which informs her advances towards the much younger Therese.

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, Carol is a sensuous, erotic film suffused with intoxicating design and period detail. Haynes’ approach is richly allusive – the poignant dinner scene, with which the film begins, for example, explicitly references Brief Encounter (reissued in the IFI this November ) and one is left with the impression of a film that will immeasurably repay repeat viewings. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)

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