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Carol stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, director Todd Haynes on the film's forbidden love story

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Wilson Webb/Courtesy Everett Collection

The tricky thing about describing Carol is the usage of simplistic language such as “lesbian romance.” No one has ever referred to Brief Encounter or An Affair to Remember or Titanic as “heterosexual romances.” Yes, Carol is about a love story between two women, but as the miraculous movie’s lead actors, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and director Todd Haynes can attest in the video above, that hardly limits the film’s thematic power to a same-sex point of view.

“What was so remarkable about the time and place,” says Haynes, talking about New York City in the early 1950s, “was that there was almost no word, there was no name, for this kind of love.”

In fact, Therese (played by Mara), the young, shy shop girl whose journey the film exquisitely chronicles, does not even know the word for what she is feeling when she meets the wealthy older woman Carol (Blanchett). 

“Carol is an objective creation,” Blanchett says, “and the challenge for me was to make…the quiet, private hell in which she’s living relatable and understandable for people.”

Watch the video above, in which Mara also talks about her favorite scene in the film to shoot. Carol, which EW’s Chris Nashawaty called “a gorgeous time capsule…bristling with a pair of lead performances that stand among the year’s best,”

 is now playing in limited release and will open wider throughout Novemeber and December. 

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