Thursday, March 10, 2016

Todd Haynes' superlative, exquisite CAROL comes to Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and Digital HD

So much has already been written about Todd Haynes' latest outpouring of nostalgia, beauty and closeted "forbidden" love that TrustMovies, finally catching up with this multi-Oscar-nominated film (that ended up winning nothing), can only second most of the praise he's already read and heard. Watching the film unfurl in its fine Blu-ray transfer is such a visual pleasure that buffs are likely to have to view CAROL a second time to fully appreciate the remarkable performances from lead actresses Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Mr. Haynes (shown at left), in bringing to the screen Phyllis Nagy's adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith tale of a lesbian love affair and its consequences, is in territory he loves best, including the 1950s time period. And he has brought all this to such fine fruition that the viewer can simply relax and, as it were, go with the flow. It seems to this critic, at least, that with each new work, Haynes grows more confident and secure in his craft. Here he allows the subtleties of the story, characteri-zations and performances to carry the day. And, my god, do they.

By now we know all too well how great an actress is Ms Blanchett (above); the surprise here is how perfectly Ms Mara (below) complements her co-star, while proving every bit as glamorous and talented. Above all, Carol proves a splendid, rich and deep love story about coming to terms with so much -- back when handling this kind of situation was nothing like as easy as it is today.

As fine as were the winners of this year's actress and supporting actress prize (Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander), no one, I think, can deny that Carol's co-stars are every bit as good. Ms Larson's role in Room is such a great one, as well as a great opportunity (think Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve), that it would be difficult to deny any actress who played the role properly this prize. Ms Vikander is always good; the Oscar here seems as much deserved for her better role in Ex Machina, which, being a genre movie, not so many of the Academy voters probably saw.

Carol's lack of "wins" can also be attributed to its being a lesbian film. The Academy might gives prizes now and again to a tear-jerker, triumph-of-the-human-spirit movie like Philadelphia (which is about men, after all, even if some of them are gay), but a quiet, strong and subtle one about women such as this? Not likely.

No worries. The nominations were enough to honor the amazing contributions here. And Carol will continue to find its audience, now and in perpetuity. With its theatrical release via The Weinstein Company and its video release from Anchor Bay Entertainment, the movie hits Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD this coming Tuesday, March 15 (it has been available via Digital HD since March 4) -- for purchase and/or rental.

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