It’s a family tradition of mine to go to the movies on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – a tradition I highly encourage you try! I love so many Christmas movies, but today I am here to convince you to hurt your own feelings and embrace the delightful and sometimes painful sides of human connection with Carol. Because that’s what’s Christmas is all about! Right?
Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical book, The Price of Salt, first published in 1952. It is astounding that a book written by a woman about romance between women was published at this time, and the story behind the making of this book is a wonderful story in itself.
The film begins with young Therese, a sales girl and blossoming photographer working in a 50’s department store counter, who one day meets an elegant woman, Carol (exquisitely played by Cate Blanchett), looking for a doll for her 4-year-old daughter.
Draped over Therese’s counter, Carol asks, “What did you want when you were this age?”. Therese replies without missing a beat, eyes ablaze and responds, “A train set.” Carol buys the train set, gets it delivered and writes down her contact information, and in classic meet-cute fashion, forgets her gloves on Therese’s counter.
It has all the makings of a classic Christmas drama-romance movie: there’s a snowy scene of Carol picking out a Christmas tree, while Therese snaps a candid photo. Therese playing piano, trimming the tree, and wrapping gifts at Carol’s beautiful countryside estate make for very cozy Christmas watching.
There is also anguish, indecision, and a peek into the rocky inner lives of the small but substantial cast of characters. Carol captures that wistful, chilly, and sometimes tension-filled energy that seems to reverberate everywhere around the holidays. If you love atmospheric, slow burn Christmas romances, check out Carol!