Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I think we may have made it to our last movie of 2015. Sure, it's possible we could see something New Year's Eve - just unlikely.

So we will top out at 21 movies in a year. For us, that is frickin' amazing - and one we won't likely top anytime before we hit retirement (which will be never!). And while some of the films were duds, none of them were out and out losers - though I don't have particularly fond memories of Jurassic World, the Walk or Everest.

Sunday, we went to go see Carol - since too much champagne made me miss the time on xmas day.

I do love Cate Blanchett, but really enjoy director, Todd Haynes' movies. They are so detailed in their era that they make something like Mad Men look fake. I mean, at the end of Carol, I just kind of assumed I'd have emphysema.

Haynes does like his non-traditional / gay story lines set in the 1950's, doesn't he? Well, it does seem to work for him, as Far From Heaven is still an incredible movie - though sadly no Julianne Moore here.

I won't lie - I went into this somewhat knowing a little of the back story, though I didn't read the book. And while avoiding reviews, it was hard not to hear the raves being heaped upon it. But every critic loves a good girl-on-girl movie, no? Going by the raves, they seem to.

With Haynes, you clearly get style - you always do. But with the acting, you get substance. The actual story is fine, but it seemed a backdrop for the acting. In theory there was a good story there, but parts of Carol kind of became a non-violent Thelma & Louise.

I get it was the 50s and that the outwardly discussion of same-sex attraction was never really uttered aloud, so it makes sense that even the two people involved might not know how to convey it - especially when one of the characters is supposed to be young, inexperienced and a little naive.

Rooney Mara didn't do much for me. She was fine and all, but she seemed liked a somewhat toned-down  Zooey Deschanel (I'm not saying this was a plus!). Blanchett, of course, was great though she didn't quite do a lot of emoting, though again, I'm thinking of the timing of the piece.

Yes, there is a 'sex scene' in the movie. I don't know I would say it was graphic, but I know a double standard when I see one - two men couldn't get away with the exact same footage on screen and draw the same kind of reviews or audiences for this movie.

What movie or tv show isn't better with Sarah Paulson in it? I thought she was great, but I always do.

With only two small small lines and yet Carrie Brownstein has a credit (and not far down the list) with an attached character name, even though it's never said or mentioned. For some reason, that kind of annoys me as much as she annoys me with her roles in that annoying show, Portlandia, or worse, as the guitarist for that overrated rock band she's in, Sleater-Kinney. Don't even start me on those Old Navy ads. I'll assume her character had some other part in the book that didn't make it to the movie - which is just fine with me.

And let's face it - I would have been fine if they just called the movie, Kyle.

Throw a tux and some pomade on Mr. Chandler and I'm good for two hours. And he did a fine job acting too - so that was a plus.

There was some nice camera work too. I really liked the walk / camera "jerk" of the last scene in the Oak Room. I can't quite say I've seen that before.

I get from a studio perspective that releasing a stylish, gay-oriented flick at Christmas is easily nothing more than Oscar® bait, but Carol might actually rise to the occasion....at least for acting. It might get a nod for best picture, but I'm not confident it would win.

Much of Carol was filmed here in Ohio and ironically, in some of the most conservative parts of the state, at that. I'm assuming that is because the hotels and diners which are featured haven't really been updated since the 50s.

I sat there and wondered if Gov. John Kasich was torn that the state was getting funds for a Hollywood film being shot in the state, versus that it was of a lesibonic nature. That just had to poke at him.

2015 Movie Count / Goal:  21 of 12

Song by: the Rolling Stones


Raybeard said...

One of my regrets is having seen 'Carol' at a morning screening just after one of my occasional appallingly sleepless nights, so hadn't been at my most receptive. I felt if I had been its rating might have been even higher than the very good 7.5 I'd awarded it - though what you yourself say above now makes me wonder if my opinion at the time hadn't, after all, been closer to the mark.
I'm currently compiling my Top 10 films of 2015 and at the moment it's touch and go whether it makes it into the ultimate select few.

I don't know if you read my original piece (written immediately on return home from the cinema) but anyway, for what it's worth:-


Bob said...

This review sounds like I wrote.
Todd Haynes film! Yes!
Could'a maybe had Julianne in it? Yes!
Kyle Chandler? Swoon!

Fearsome Beard said...

I now depend on you and RayBeard to keep me in the loop. That's a good thing since I'm usually out of the loop, even with Hollywood just a short drive up the 5 freeway from my doorstep.

Mark in DE said...

Thanks for the honest review. I love Todd Haynes films too so I'll definitely plan to see this, even if it won't win the best picture award.