Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Carol - 6 nominations

Actress in a Leading Role, Cate Blanchett
Actress in a Supporting Role, Rooney Mara
Cinematography, Ed Lachman
Costume Design, Sandy Powell
Music (Original Score), Carter Burwell
Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Phyllis Nagy

I'll be honest.  I really wanted to love Carol.  REALLY wanted to, and I was all ready for a beautiful love story with character arcs and self discovery and outstanding actresses and beautiful costumes. That's why it was so utterly disappointing to be bored by most of the film, and relatively angry that two characters were boiled down to being nothing more than their sexuality.  Ok, if I'm being honest, Carol (played by Cate Blanchett) is a lesbian and she loves her daughter, so that's two things we know about her.  But those are basically the only two things.  Then, Rooney Mara plays Terese, and all we really know about Terese is that she is a lesbian who is discovering herself.

Why don't lesbians deserve character arcs?  Complexities?  Depth?  Sure, there are some interesting elements of the film, but I was truly disappointed that these characters don't get their due.

Yes, the cinematography is wonderful and the music is too.  Being a period piece focused on a wealthy woman, the costumes are exquisite.  But do these really matter when so little attention is focused on the story?

One more thing to say about Carol's nominees.  Those of you who have been reading the blog know how I feel about category shenanigans.  And Carol is the guilty party this year.  Rooney Mara is in almost every scene (certainly has the most screen time of any character) and is the lens through which the story is being told.  The film is named for Carol for her strong presence as a character, but to nominate Cate Blanchett as the lead actress and to nominate Rooney Mara as a supporting actress is absurd.  At best, they were both leads, but if anyone played a supporting role, I think it was Blanchett.  The Academy loves Cate Blanchett and let's face it, the movie studio was campaigning for these particular categories because it's better not to have two actresses competing with each other for the same film.  But when shenanigans occur I must call shenanigans.  And shenanigans have indeed occurred!

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