Carol is lying in ambush
by Fabien Lemercier
- CANNES 2015: Todd Haynes’ film, produced and sold by the UK, is among the favourites at the halfway point of the race for the Palme d'Or 2015
One of the truly great strengths of the European film industry is funding unquestionably talented international auteurs who sometimes have trouble topping off the budgets for their projects in their national markets (owing to either a lack of resources in place or shrinking cultural ambition). And while Hollywood has historically tried to coax the top European filmmakers into its blockbuster-making factory, Europe itself is committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with true American artists, like the sophisticated Todd Haynes, whose new feature film, Carol [+see also:
film profile], has made a big impression in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, instantly positioning itself among the frontrunners of film-loving bookmakers at the halfway point of the race for the Palme d'Or 2015 (19 titles are competing in total).
Produced by London-based outfit Number 9 Films together with US company Killer Films, Carol has proven to be an extravaganza of a film, a splendid reconstruction (the plot, adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel, unfolds in New York in 1952) that constitutes the perfect showcase for the talent of its two lead actresses: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Having previously participated in the Cannes competition just once before (in 1998 with the delightful Velvet Goldmine), with his new opus, Haynes has made a variation on his already very classy Far from Heaven (2002), which also delved to the heart of 1950s America and addressed the subject of sexual orientation, but from a different angle and set in the country instead of in a huge metropolis, as is the case this time around: instead of a housewife who discovers that her husband is gay, Carol deals with the passion between two women. A real gem in terms of its directing, this 1950s equivalent of Blue Is the Warmest Colour [+see also:
interview: Abdellatif Kechiche
film profile] is sold abroad by Hanway Films (and will be distributed in France by the major chain UGC).
In the quest for the Palme d'Or 2015, Carol is thus at the front of the race, joining the astounding revelation of a film Son of Saul [+see also:
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile] by Hungarian director Lazlo Nemes and Mia madre [+see also:
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile] by the Italian master Nanni Moretti, with the conceptual titles The Lobster [+see also:
Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile] by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos and Louder Than Bombs [+see also:
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile] by Norway’s Joachim Trier also having gained an incredible number of supporters. But half of the competition titles have yet to be screened. Watch this space...
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.