Is it a Sure Thing? Is Carol Best Film of the Year?
The film Carol has received dozens of industry and critics awards. The film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm and Mara tied for the Best Actress award with Emmanuelle Bercot. The American Film Institute selected Carol as one of the Top Ten Films of the year. The film garnered five Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress for Blanchett and Mara, Best Director for Haynes and Best Original Score for Carter Burwell. It received five Independent Spirit Award nominations, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay for Phyllis Nagy, Best Female Lead for Blanchett and Mara, and Best Cinematography for Edward Lachman. Blanchett and Mara received Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, respectively.
Carol has been included in many critics’ Top Ten Films of 2015 lists. The New York Times called it Best Film of the Year. The New York Film Critics Circle awarded the film Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. The film won Best Music from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and was runner-up for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Production Design. The Frankfurt Book Fair named Carol as the Best International Literary Adaptation. Film Comment magazine ranked Carol as the best film of 2015 based on its year-end poll of over 100 film critics.
But Film Box critic Helen Highly is not convinced. In her review of Carol, Helen Highly compares it to the movie Brooklyn and makes an argument that Carol has won its accolades for the wrong reasons, in a giant band-wagon effort at political correctness.
When she is not writing about film and art on her blog, HelenHighly.com, Helen Kaplow is busy being a culture vulture in her adopted home of New York City.