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“Carol” gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race

Carol Rooney Mara  Cate Blanchett jpg

Hollywood Contenders: Depending on who you ask, one of the very first contenders for Academy Awards mentioned this year was Carol, the latest film from Todd Haynes. With a cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, under the direction of Haynes, this has been pegged pretty much from day one as an Oscar hopeful. The buzz at the Cannes Film Festival did nothing to dissuade anyone either, with Mara taking Best Actress at the fest. Now, with fall approaching and a winter awards season release pegged for Carol, The Weinstein Company has unveiled a Teaser Trailer (which you can see below) in order to get us even more excited for the flick. Spoiler alert: it worked.

The film is an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel and concerns the relationship between two women in 1950’s New York City. One is young department store clerk Therese Belivet (played by Mara), while the other is an older married woman named Carol Aird (Blanchett). What starts as a friendship slowly blooms into something more, even if they can’t explicitly speak it out loud. From there, it’s a choice of whether or not to risk everything for love in a time where this was not acceptable behavior. Haynes directs from a Phyllis Nagy screenplay, with the cast in addition to Blanchett and Mara including Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and Sarah Paulson.

carol in car

Ever since Cannes, it’s been pretty clear that Carol is going to be a contender. The question is just to what degree Harvey Weinstein and company can make it play. A period piece forbidden romance with zeitgeist type story elements could be catnip to Academy voters, but it will all depend on how it’s campaigned and what the competition is. Chief among the decisions will be how to go forward category wise with the Oscar hopes of Blanchett and Mara. Many (including myself) have speculated that Blanchett will go Lead while Mara will go Supporting, but it was the former who took the Best Actress prize at Cannes, so that clouds matters a bit. It’s a good problem to have though, believe me. The Weinstein Company could even be bold and campaign them both in Actress and hope for a double dip.

Speaking of awards, I think it’s fair to say that Carol should be a big time player across the board, especially if the precursors are as kind to it as I think they will be. Of course, Best Picture is certainly in play, with Best Director (for Haynes), Best Actress (for Blanchett and/or Mara), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler), Best Supporting Actres (for Blanchett or Mara, along with Paulson), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Nagy), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. I’d say a nomination in Picture, at least one of the acting categories (and probably both if Blanchett and Mara get split up), and possibly even Director seem like safe bets right now, but a lot remains to be seen. That being said, if you aren’t predicting this to do well right now, you need to rethink your position.

Carol in coffe shop

We’ll know more about the true Oscar hopes of Carol at the end of the year, but right now it’s sitting rather pretty, all things considered. The release date of November 20th is in the heart of awards season, so voters will not have the chance to forget about this one before casting their ballots, one way or another. In the meantime, take a look below at the Teaser Trailer and stay tuned for much more on the movie. I have a feeling we’ll be covering it here as much as any other contender this season. Sit tight for more, possibly even in the coming days…

Here’s the Teaser Trailer for Carol:

Stay tuned for more on Carol between now and its release date in late November!

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About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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