Carol Directed by: Todd Haynes Written by: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (book) Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson
When Therese (Rooney Mara) and Carol (Cate Blanchett) see each other for the first time, at a department store in 1950s New York City, their first shared look is a barrage of confusion and longing, of instant connection stifled by societal codes. In other words, it’s love at first sight.
Moments after that frozen-in-time first glance, Carol shows up at the doll display where Therese works, and asks about Christmas gifts for her daughter. Therese doesn’t have the doll she wants in stock, but she suggests a new state-of-the-art miniature train set. “I like your hat,” Carol says of as she walks away, Therese’s eyes widening as as she stays behind with the other Santa hat-donning store clerks.
I’m Not There Directed by: Todd Haynes Written by: Todd Haynes & Oren Moverman (screenplay) Starring: Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, and Richard Gere
Where to begin? Here is a movie with almost no beginning and no end, an interwoven tale about both the same person and six very different ones. It’s fitting that a movie about such a radical is filled with radical notions of its own, at least about filmmaking.
Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There is a visionary look into the life and ever-shifting personas of Bob Dylan. You don’t hear his name once during the two-and-a-half hour journey into his head, but at the end you get something you don’t usually get from biopics: a true understanding and examination of the subject. We don’t follow a single artist as they are discovered to have musical talent, inevitably become famous and then acquire famous people problems. All of these things happen in I’m Not There, but to different characters in different ways.