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George At 

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Capturing a very different time in both setting and society, CAROL is a powerfully acted drama that somehow still remained distant to me.

Todd Haynes is an artistic director and I liked his "Far From Heaven" back in 2002 quite a bit. His eye for period detail is terrific and with CAROL, he truly takes you back to 1950's New York City.

Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars as Therese, a young photographer working as a sales clerk at a Macy's like NYC department store.

She finds herself mesmerized by a wealthy Christmas shopper who oozes style and class.

Cate Blanchett is Carol, a married woman with a little girl and a very big secret.

As the two find themselves meeting for a drink and then dinner and more, you feel the 1950's oppression on their affair from every angle.

As their affair grows into something deeper, Carol's husband (the very good Kyle Chandler) finds himself struggling and growing more combative as his suspicions grow stronger.

The back half of the film chronicles a road trip between Carol and Therese that makes you feel the oppression of the two women in powerful ways.

Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) is very good as Carol's best friend, caught between Carol and her husband as secrets unfold.

The entire film is perfectly photographed, with a slow build and surprising suspense for what's basically a forbidden love story.

Still, I never really connected with the movie. You can't blame Mara and Blanchett, they are reliably great and powerful as two very different women in age, confidence and viewpoint.

Every frame is great to look at, but somehow emotionally disconnected for me.

I'll give CAROL a B-.

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