A well-dressed woman walks into a department store in search of the perfect gift for her daughter. As she scans the displays for possible items, she notices a captivating woman, a lady of such engaging expression that the shopper forgets, for a moment, why she came to the store. Suddenly the task to purchase becomes less important than the opportunity to engage. After all, how often do people get the chance to redefine their lives?
As he did with the memorable Far From Heaven in 2002, director Todd Haynes explores the shadows of forbidden relationships in the remarkable Carol. While the earlier piece revisits the glossy late 1950s — in the lush style of director Douglas Sirk — Carol creates a darker view. Instead of decorating the drama with picture-perfect panoramas of a New England village, Haynes explores a darkened Manhattan trying to find its rhythm after the tension of World War II. As if anticipating what his daring characters will face, Haynes pictures a stark environment where people search for ways to connect while the world anxiously observes.