Why “Carol” Failed to Become the Lesbian ‘Brokeback’

Why “Carol” Failed to Become the Lesbian 'Brokeback'

Well, that’s that. Lesbians will not have their “Brokeback Mountain” this year after all.

That’s because “Carol,” perhaps the most critically acclaimed mainstream film of all time featuring gay women, was not nominated for a Best Picture or Best Director Oscar. The period piece was shut out of those top Academy Award categories, but did score well-deserved nods for actress (Cate Blanchett), supporting actress (Rooney Mara) and adapted screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), which should be celebrated.

But then why the lack of love for “Carol” as a whole by the Academy? What the hell happened?

“Carol” has been luxuriously reviewed by critics, starting back in May when it premiered at Cannes. And then even more rapturous adoration was piled on when it opened in very, very, very (more on that later) limited release in November. Women and Hollywood’s own Melissa Silverstein said, “Unless I am totally bonkers, this film will be included in the (Best Picture Oscar) mix next year.”

But here we are, totally bonkers, and wondering why.

The answers, more than likely, are multifold. Let it first and foremost never be forgotten that Academy voters are 94% white, 76% male and an average of 63 years old. That also goes a long way to explain the equally unacceptable lack of diversity in the nominations this year. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was rightfully resurrected to describe yet another acting nominee list with no people of color. 

Films with LGBT themes and/or performances were largely given short shrift by the Oscars this year, too. “Carol” earned six nominations (though none in the two biggest categories), “The Danish Girl” four (again, none for best picture/director) and big goose eggs for “Grandma,” “Tangerine” and “Freeheld.”

While the best picture nominees weren’t solely for films centered on male characters like last year — “Brooklyn,” “Room” and in a spectacularly subversive way “Mad Fax: Fury Road” thankfully broke that trend — they were still predominantly about men doing man things. “The Revenant” — Leonardo DiCaprio’s man-against-the-wilderness movie — led all with a dozen nominations. “Carol,” in contrast, could be its polar opposite. It’s a quiet, sophisticated, urban drama about two women in love who have dismissed the men in their lives.

So then it’s easy to see how “Carol” was just too gay and too female for the largely old white male voting base to consider. I mean, how could they possibly connect with a mid-century romance focused entirely on the unstoppable attraction between two women where neither has the decency to sleep with a man, suffer tragically or die at the end?

But herein also lies the rub. Maybe “Carol” was both too gay and not gay enough to break out with mainstream audiences. The film has done modestly well during its limited box office run, netting about $7.5 million so far. But it has failed to bring in the numbers of mainstream releases centered on gay men like “Brokeback Mountain” ($83 million), “Philadelphia” ($77 million) and “Milk” ($31.8 million). It is also still well behind the highest-grossing lesbian-themed film of all time, “The Kids Are All Right” ($20.8 million), which actually did earn a best picture Oscar nomination.

In a strange way, perhaps the LGBT rights movement’s successes are also partially to blame for the film’s failure to break out. A decade ago, when “Brokeback” was released in 2005, it was still a progressive badge of honor to go see a “gay movie.” People could pat themselves on the back for sitting through “that movie where the cowboys do it.” Flash forward to today, when marriage equality was confirmed as the law of the land months prior to the film’s release and the political urgency of a film like “Carol” to outsiders appears to have waned. With public opinion and political momentum firmly on our side, the feel-good cachet that came with simply supporting an LGBT-themed project has faded in some circles.

That’s also how you can have gay male critics dismiss a film like “Carol,” calling it repeatedly “chilly” or musing out loud, “Why would anyone leave Kyle Chandler?”

So that left the loudest voices — besides discerning film critics — advocating for the movie as its queer female fanbase. But the film’s excruciatingly slow release schedule seemed to stymie that support. “Carol” opened back on November 20 in only four theaters — all in New York or Los Angeles. Then it stayed in those four theaters for three full weeks before expanding to — wowee — a whole 16 theaters, where it stayed for another two weeks. It did not open to more than 100 theaters until its sixth week. By contrast, “Brokeback,” “Milk” and “The Kids Are All Right” were all in more than 100 theaters by their third weekend.

Distributors clearly meant to build word-of-mouth on “Carol.” Which might have worked, but by the time more people could finally see it, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had arrived and sucked all available movie news into its box-office black hole. Those glowing reviews are all nearly two months old by now, a distant memory in the pop-culture lifecycle.

Last weekend has been the largest release so far for “Carol,” expanding to 525 theaters nationwide. By comparison, “The Revenant” also debuted in four theaters (to achieve its Oscar eligibility over Christmas), and then opened wide last weekend in 3,375 theaters.

It’s hard to fathom the wisdom in withholding a film from the very people who want and need to see it most. Queer women have been waiting for a movie like “Carol” for so long. A movie where no one goes crazy, dies horribly or imitates a falcon. A movie of our own that celebrates the universality of yearning. A movie about the sublime ache of wanting someone and having her want you back. Now, if only the Academy had afforded us the same happy ending.

Dorothy Snarker is Women and Hollywood’s queer columnist. She writes at dorothysurrenders.com and is a regular contributor at AfterEllen.com. Also find her @dorothysnarker.

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Comments

Cook

I’m not any of the above demographic that you mentioned, and I adore Cate Blanchett. But absolutely hated this movie. It’s easy to say that people didn’t like the movie because they are small minded, old white guys… Nice try. But here’s my take – the Weinsteins’ must have every major critic on their payroll… Because they’re the only ones giving the movie love. If you read the blogs and comments sections of any website you will read a completely different take – which is most movie goers really did not like this movie.

    Celeste Newbrough

    CelesteNew

    Celeste

    People who hate Carol, like some of the above commentors are ridled with lesbophobia whether directed outward or inwardly absorbed. There is nothing to hate about this masterfully directed and enacted drama about two women trapped in fifties laws and mentality. Both characters are intensely portrayed. The love scenes are beautiful, the plot is gripping, and the production is brilliant. If you hate Carol, I’d look inside for the reason.

Therese

Perhaps if you had read ‘The Price of Salt’ – the book on which the movie ‘Carol’ was based – you would have a deeper understanding of the relationship between Carol and Therese.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading the book twice, and I think you’re missing something very important…
There is an understated essence that pervades the novel.
It’s 1950’s New York.
And it’s this world BENEATH the surface of these womens’ lives, juxtaposed with the expectations placed upon them in their society – not to mention, their stifled lives – that propels the ‘leap’ some find confusing.
Again, the film ‘Carol’ is VERY true to the novel – ‘The Price of Salt/’Carol.’
So if there’s ‘disbelief,’ then Patricia Highsmith – who created these exquisite characters – wrote them this way – with more than a dash of her own life experience in the mix…
It also really helps, to understand this film from a lesbian perspective.
But it is a universal love story, and accessible to all…

JC Fisher

Just wanted to say "ITA" Dorothy (I’m surprised I’m the first here to do so). Maybe if Carol&Therese’s first love scene had been in a pup-tent, not a motel, it would have gotten more love? *smh*

One thing I will add: how much the movie gains on repeat viewings (and in contrast to other BP nominees). Upon first viewing, I really wished there had been a Final Clinch (however awkward that would have been, what w/ the patriarchy-at-dinner of the "Oak Room"). Later I saw "Brooklyn"—which did have your bog-standard rom-com-dram Final Clinch: "Carol’s" ending is SO much more memorable! More right—AND true to both the period (of homophobia) and who these two specific women are.

God, I gotta go see "Carol" again! [3 and counting…]

Zack

OK, I am amazed. The people who love Carol love it dearly and believe it is a masterpiece. The people who doesn’t love it are nearly on the verge of their anger of hate. In situations like this, which happened rather often, it shows one group of people blinded by what was there or misunderstood, and another group of people understand it all so well. It’s like the middle-school kids in a Math class love Math, and the other kids in the same class think Math is boring and not worthwhile (because they got a calculator.) Hmmm… Interesting!! The kids who rely on the calculator (without understanding concepts) then scream their head off when you take their calculator away.Then they pick on the kids who were good at Math. Sounded familiar?!?! If we all want to understand others in this world more, there would be less wars and more peace. We can even learn from each other more.

Alex Joe Miller

Thank you for the review. Carol was outstandingly, sophisticated, intoxicating, dramatic, and warm. It’s a movie that requires its audiences to do more rather than "being spoon-fed" on plots/stories. Unfortunately, most people in general are so used to "being spoon-fed". Almost no movies like Carol are made any more…which is very sad… Therefore, it is can be easily dismissed and/or misunderstood. It is scary (and too revolutionary) for men to see women dismiss men for women.To me,I think women/men shall love who they desire.I see how men (including my friends) are afraid of losing women in their lives to other women, as the expressed it only during male-bonding meetup. We/They haven’t seen gay women being as assertive the same way gay men have been.Women love seem like play pretending. Why would we/they want to change that.Therefore, the result is what you are seeing.And it will be this way maybe another 25-50 years. Women loving women loves are meant to be ignored, disregarded, even potentially dangerous to humanity in their eyes. This is why progress come, if any, so slow to crawl.

bean67

Thanks for this. I can no longer abide anyone who says Carol was too slow, or ‘they had no chemistry,’ or it was too ‘chilly.’ My answer is to take a film theory class. Every frame is lush with additions to the story. Read a lot of Highsmith, so you understand how the act of love can have a criminal element, and read up on the McCarthy era. They had to play it all close to the vest for fear of exposure. Carol is absolutely lush for anyone who knows how to read images. I actually feel sorry for people who didn’t get it. They missed out in such a grand way.

JLA

I’m genuinely surprised that so many people on the comments didn’t feel a connection to the film, the whole movie I completely emerged in the story, my heart was literally aching the while film. I think it’s a travesty that this film isn’t getting more recognition.

Person of Little Interest

*movies, sorry about my autocorrect there, I promise I know how to use apostrophes!

While I’m here again, though, remind me never to read through comments sections again – you’re all such fucking hideously obnoxious people and I can’t wait to see how pissed off you get in ten years when Carol is still better-remembered than most of the nominees this year :)

Person of Little Interest

I’m honestly so sick of the "they lack chemistry!" criticism, it’s become the new "too cold/detached". Why can’t people come up with an actual fucking criticism for once? (And why does nobody remember that Carol and Therese are both quite reserved characters, on purpose, and that this would have an effect the way they display affection for each other? It’s like you guys don’t actually think critically about the movie’s you watch!)

Karen

As a senior citizen over the Age of 65 (who votes by the way) I take exception to the subtle and not so subtle negativie comments that older men could not relate to the story. A group of 6 of us saw it (3 male and 3 female all over 60) and while all the men enjoyed it only I rated it favorably. It seems like the author felt only lesbians could relate to the story.

jane

I’m not sure what all this "boring/cold" talk is about. I was absolutely on the edge of my seat with tension as I viewed the film the first time and experienced a range of emotions until the very end. I think those descriptors are quite dismissive and seem to come from people who may have already made up their minds prior to watching the movie.

Margaret

Not sure I agree with the widespread premise that men at at the Academy are purposely shunning this movie because of its lesbian theme. I find that to be a knee jerk reaction. I saw it. It was good but not great. I personally dont think its worthy of Best Picture.

Hao Wu

I would challenge the writer when she says lesbians needs a good story where love is the main theme and nobody goes crazy in the end. I loved Bound(1996) it was sexy, funny and you have two gorgeous likable lesbians who toughened themselves and beat the system to get the life they always wanted.

Natalie

I’m a gay woman and have been waiting to see an unapologetically lesbian film like this for a long time. But Carol was a disappointment. The reasons are the same as for the other commenters: lack of chemistry between the leads, poor character development, low tension and lack of rhythm. It’s a film of perfect surfaces, calibrated just so but lacking an inner engine. Oh well, the wait continues.

Rosie

Maybe it was just too boring. You point out the "yearning," but that seemed like what most of the film consisted of. Lots of the two leads staring at each other, and we’re supposed to fill in the blanks. I think the critics were taken in by how beautiful the film looked and praised it based on that, but ignored the fact that it lacked depth and was emotionally cold. I couldn’t connect with anyone in the film, it was like I was watching paint dry. A beautiful shade of paint, but paint nonetheless. It didn’t deserve a best director or best picture nomination but that had nothing to do with its subject matter. It just isn’t a great film overall.

Anupam

@NM – Completely agree. There is a strain of "Victim Narrative" that in some sense Carol upends and, maybe, that’s why a lot of "mainstream" audiences cannot respond to it. It may also be because a lot of mainstream audiences do not hear any other stories than the victim narratives. The politics of LGBT representation has been focused too much on playing the victim card (with much success and not without legitimate cause) and that may be why a lot of people could not connect to the film or identify with the emotional power of the ending.

Edkargir

I am a 62 white male and I think Carol is better than 7 of the 8 films nominee for best picture Spotlight is my favorite. 63 white and male is like the Republican Party racist and homophobic . Go Hillary

Monserrat Ames

As a middle aged Catholic lesbian, coming out was extremely difficult. Imagine in the 50’s? The movie Carol, is a master piece. Not too many spoken words, but the body language between Carol and Therese, was electrifying. Kept me memmorize on what going to happen next. Well, directed, classy women, breathless soundtrack. Love love Carol. Should have been nominated for Best Movie and Director (also). So unfortunate …….

James

To the author of this piece – Carol has absolutely no political urgency. You do a disservice to the film and mislead those who have yet to see it, as you do with calling it a lesbian film, or a film only understood or loved by lesbians, which is not true at all. I for one am a straight, married male, and loved the film. So did many of my straight friends and acquaintances, some of whom are single. When I saw the film in limited release, there where many seniors, couples, and some young adults, even saw a couple of teenagers. This is a love story, with no direct or implicit political agenda. And yes it does different significantly from Brokeback Mountain all-around; thematically, politically, historically, sexually, etc; the context is very different; the gender is different, the presentation of and response to circumstances and struggle is different; Brokeback ends in tragedy, Carol doesn’t (although not to imply sacrifices aren’t made). A film like Brokeback, particularly in the time it was released, is probably a more intriguing, entertaining, "pat yourself on the back" film for the masses, watching two gay cowboys struggle,"do it", and ultimately not be able to fulfill their relationship. If Brokeback was released today, it would still make money but it would’t be the sensation it was. Carol isn’t attached to any political message so there’s no "urgency" to it. It’s a love story in the early 1950s, it is necessarily restrained, and its presentation is exactly how a film of this nature and its context should be. Some people don’t respond to subtle, nuanced , and restrained elements; elements that are subtly multifaceted; others do. I and many others are in the latter category and easily were swept in the story. I am happy that this gem of a film is one of the best reviewed of the decade. I’m also happy it did receive 6 Oscar nominations (as well as all other nominations it received) which also gives it more visibility. And its box office is solid, so that is well too. This film will definitely be noted in film history, as will the undervalued (by mainstream tastes) Todd Haynes.

James

Poet of Women – Arguing that a film was snubbed by the academy because is "not that good" is never sound. The academy has a long, long history of ignoring/not embracing (with nominations and wins) excellent, acclaimed films, many of which are considered classics and are in "best of all times" lists.
And like someone else said here, this "negative response" in comments (from vocal individuals) is only because the film is talked about now in the context of unfair snubs. It’s trivial, and how the film will continued to be viewed over time is what matters.

Poet of Women

Maybe it’s not that good of a picture. Most people I know found it cold and soulless.

Instead, the article has to make it about race and gender. It could be just that the picture isn’t as good as the critics say. Just because it’s about 2 lesbians doesn’t automatically make it a masterpiece.

Anon Ymous

I read Highsmith’s "Price of Salt" over the summer and ended up seeing "Carol" twice this winter. I thought it was a beautiful film, and that all of the elements came together to make it a quality film I won’t soon forget. I could not imagine it directed by anyone other than Todd Haynes. He has a sensitivity that really comes through in all of his work. Wonderful choice of cast and crew, beautiful set design, costume design, music and cinematography. Having had a similar experience in the story of my own reality, I really felt Blanchett and Mara were empathetic of their characters, and did have enough chemistry to be convincing as Carol and Therese. I am just sorry it was overlooked. Then again, that is what makes this film all the more special and worthy of viewing to my mind. I’ve seen many other films that are often overlooked or unheard of, and I am sometimes more impressed by these films and the details that went into making them, than those that received the attention and awards from Academy voters. Wonderful work by all those involved in the making of "Carol." This movie really got me thinking. I left the theater wanting to see more by this great team, and with a lot of respect for the artists involved in the making of "Carol."

NM

Desiree Lewis– true: when LGBTQ people don’t die or at least threaten suicide, we’re not interesting enough. It’s the same for artists. If Van Gogh had been happy and had left his ears attached to his head, and if he he’d died of old age instead of killing himself, I really doubt anyone would’ve looked properly at his work; if he’d been a happy guy, it’s possible that he’d not be as widely remembered and as highly thought of today.

But to address another of your points: this article is an *opinion piece* written from the perspective of someone who’s a lesbian and not-white (I don’t know what info Ms. Snarker is happy with on this site, so I’ll leave it at that), and in that sense alone, the article isn’t reductive.

Steve Fellner

What gay man is obsessing over Kyle Chandler?

Desiree Lewis

First thing: Leon Raymond Mitchell… It’s Paul Robeson (spelling counts, so does knowledge of who you are talking about.) Secondly, I thought Carol was brilliant. Some agree, others don’t. What I find disturbing in this piece is how reductive it is to refer to it as a lesbian film, as if only lesbians can appreciate it or have an interest in it. Thirdly, I think that some people didn’t respond to Carol because it wasn’t about lesbians suffering or feeling shame. Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people in the majority culture can only relate to minorities through their suffering.

LeonRaymond Mitchell

@JAMIE SEYMOUR- She says "Colored People" my god and there lies the problem. As a Black man I say swimming up this way too racist stream is way hard. For the Academy hail hail racism! I and huge amount of film makers and producers wrote a letter to Michelle Obama asking her to chair an awards presentation "The Roberson" (Named after Paul Roberson) that will Honor all those this Academy refuse to do!

NM

Oh boy. Funny, how the "negative response" to a great film has only come along when said film didn’t make the Best Picture list. You can check: negative comment has *suddenly* surfaced on countless other good films, in the same position as Carol now finds itself.

So where was the "negative response" when the only reviews were good ones? Didn’t like to stick out like sore thumbs, hmm? Newsflash, darlings: you still stick out like sore thumbs. This film was not "overpraised". There were critics who admitted to not wanting to like Carol, but had no choice but to praise it. Because it’s that good.

Oh, and to Doubledang– the "emotional impact" of Brokeback came right at the end, when one of the characters was beaten to death. Carol has a happy ending, and so of course, it’s "dull".

inventingjoy

I totally agree with them other posts. More later

Dennis Harvey

"Brokeback Mountain" was also about characters who live in a time and culture where they can’t express their feelings openly, and must exert enormous "restraint." Yet most people seem to have found that film had a great cumulative emotional impact that "Carol" lacked. It’s not that we can’t see the film’s intentions and artistry, it’s just that it doesn’t make that same emotional connection.

Patricia

Henry88, you’re being mighty presumptuous there! To characterize everyone who doesn’t share your opinion of the film as needing education is rather childish. Especially because these criticisms are being made by articulate, intelligent people who obviously watch a wide variety of films (note which website these comments are on) – supposedly the target audience for the film. You can’t discount the negative response to Carol out of hand, particularly as so many people here seem to be saying the same thing. You like it? Great!

Henry88

Maybe, because you’re all accostumed with more loudly, more talked, more explicit show of passion. But that doesn’t mean "Carol" lacks that. It is a marvelous masterpiece. Educate yourself by watching different films; I feel actually sorry for those who haven’t recognized it.

An Dugan

I live in rural Ohio and only last night had the chance to see the film and thought it was superb. Although yes, it was directed by a white man, Todd Haynes is not straight and is a strong presence within the New Queer Cinema movement, so at least there was someone queer at the helm, and the script adapter is a woman. I thought his use of a highly stylized look worked perfectly, I felt like I was watching things through a camera – Therese’s camera. The Two Faces of January, also an adapted Highsmith novel, was almost as equally stylized as was The Talented Mr. Ripley. Highsmith’s novels lend themselves well to it, it creates the difference between reality and the filmic world just as her books do between reality and the plot. I thought there was chemistry, a more subtle chemistry that reminded me of Between Two Women. Their world was a different one and the chemistry comes in the looks, in the moments the camera lingers on their faces allowing us to glimpse their thoughts. I agree with this article that the release was excrutiatingly slow; I was worried it would never come anywhere near me, but it did, and the theater was packed with women like me who enjoyed the film, collectively sighed and rolled our eyes when men would try to interrupt Therese and Carol, and who held our breathes at the end, waiting to see Therese walk across the room. That is perhaps the most powerful moment of the film, not the sex, but the looking across the room, Therese’s agency in walking towards Carol, and Carol’s smile.

Matt Witzel

I have a question: Who cares? Honestly, if you saw CAROL and loved it, and recognize it as a quality film, and a great step forward for LGBT stories, then who cares what the Academy says about it? It’s a bunch of stuffy old white guys, like you said, and a small group of them, at that. The more you get outraged at snubs like this, and outraged at "inferior" films that get nominated, the more you validate their narrow, outdated opinions on the film industry.

We really, really need to stop considering "Best Picture material" as the highest praise a movie can receive. IndieWire wrote an article several months back, arguing that very thing. I wish I had saved it, because it keeps running through my head when I see articles like this, or reaction videos about the Oscar nominations. I know it’s difficult to ignore the Oscars when they’re the most prominent awards ceremony for films, but that’s just it. We need to stop giving the Academy so much power. Their validation shouldn’t mean this much. YOU know the film is good. That’s what matters. Spread the word.

Daniella Isaacs

The author’s point about how, by the time the film finally went wide, the rave reviews of six weeks prior were a distant memory is spot on. With smaller cities’ papers no longer even having their own film critics and everyone reading national news on line, the "slowly building word of mouth stuff" makes no sense. I can see a one week delay from the big cities to the "provinces", but beyond that it just seems like distributors are stuck in the past with this logic.

Gavin

Jesus, woman, this is a ridiculous argument. First, the film probably missed out on a best picture nod by just a few votes so to claim it’s the victim of some group-think conspiracy is ridiculous. It received six Oscar nominations. This is hardly the definition of a snub.

Next, maybe, just maybe, some people didn’t like the film because it’s very slow-moving and there’s not much emotional pay-off. There’s no heat between these two actors.

Also, the reference to the critic saying Carol would never leave Kyle Chandler is clearly a joke. It’s not written in the context of a film review. He’s kidding and referencing the fact that he finds Chandler attractive.

Patricia

I agree with most of the comments here. CAROL was overpraised. It was dead. Dull. Bloodless. Sure, all the crafts were precisely executed (perhaps too precise), but that amounts to nothing when there is no emotional intensity or tension in the script. It’s not restraint, either – there are many marvelously restrained films (mostly foreign) that still hit you in the gut: The Kid With A Bike, Ida, Catch Me Daddy, for example. How can you have a passionate love story with zero passion or chemistry between the actors? Remember Brokeback Mountain, and how intense the love felt? Also forbidden in the time and place the film is set, so saying the love is muted due to the time period is rubbish. This film is all head and no heart, and that’s the problem for me.

jamey

From the start, Carol was preposterously overpraised — the sort of movie which proclaims itself as "art" and with which critics play along, because they have to rave about something every week or two or loss all cred. The script lacked the brisk unfussed momentum of the book, and director Haynes is so trussed up in his semiotic courses that he can’t make a real movie — you know, without references, without ironic furniture, etc. The result is a bloodless piece of art-direction. When Douglas Sirk did it, he at least believed in the emotions of the material. Haynes believes in nothing but his own moviemaking, which is inferior in every way to his originals.

Anupam

I think the couple of first comments perfectly encapsulate issues with Carol. I watched it recently and I realised why it’s not up the Academy’s ladder. It is too auteuristic and the direction style too remote for the Academy. I would contend that in some ways, it’s snub is similar to the snubs for Zero Dark Thirty, 45 Years and others. These are simply not films up the Academy’s vein. It’s not "dramatic" enough or doesn’t make grand statements. As you pointed out, there is no grand tragedy and in some ways, the subtlety and the distance which (to me) provides such a grace (and mystique) to the characters are more in vein with European Art House cinemas than mainstream Hollywood.

MD

I agree with NM that the best word would be restrained. I personally loved the movie and fully enjoyed the chemistry and the anticipation of a love story being unfolded so wonderfully. So I’m definitely bummed that Carol isn’t up for best picture.

Jamie Seymour

So what this article brings up is how white the academy is, yet "Carol" is a story about two white females. It also fails to mention how dull "Carol" was and the fact that the film that presumably squeaked in the best picture category, Brooklyn, is a more entertaining love story in the year 1952 and has a higher RT score. So while you can blame it on those old, grumpy, white, academy voters, that might not be the reason. After all, trying to say how too female the film was as a reason it didn’t get nominated doesn’t work when you follow by mentioning that 37.5% of the best picture nominees star women.
The article also mentions the lack of colored people nominated in but doesn’t include the fact that half of the actors and actresses nominated, ten, are foreign. I agree that there is a lack of roles for minorities but that’s the main issue, not the voters. Just look at who won best director and cinematographer last year and might win again. Everyone acts like so many films featuring non white people got snubbed when it was only two- "Beasts of No Nation" and "Creed." Maybe it is possible that they didn’t get as much love because the first is a movie on Netflix, something that older voters (which you state is the majority of the academy) aren’t as keen on, while the other is the SEVENTH installment of a boxing franchise!

NM

I see people commenting here that Carol seemed "dull", "static", "too stylized". You’re welcome to those opinions, but I think you’re missing the point, and your word choice is a little off.

The word is RESTRAINED, and that is intentional, because 1950s America was restrictive, prescriptive, and a lot of other caging words.

If you go to see Carol with a hope towards finding semblance with today’s world, today’s dialog, today’s *freedoms*, you’ll be disappointed. If you see Carol while asking yourself, "What must it have been like to be a woman in the ’50s?" then Carol will never disappoint.

Haynes did very well, as several acquaintances who lived through the ’50s have told me: they felt like he’d taken them right back there, and it was unsettling. He won’t get a well-deserved best director, but I hope he takes comments like that to heart.

Claire Stanard

Curious to see others’ reactions to "Carol," I was glad to find I was not alone in my sense that there was no chemistry displayed between Carol and Therese on the screen which would lead to their love affair. The acting was great, the costumes perfection, and the photography exquisite, but the movie was flat. It was implausible that the young Therese would just take off with Carol — the attraction was not well developed nor displayed. Has nothing to do with white men not honoring a women-filled lesbian movie. The movie missed the mark in making us care about these two women or believing the relationship between them.

Dee Jae Cox

One critical comment to make is that although this was based on a highly acclaimed lesbian novel, about 2 women in love, it was still, in the hollywood fashion, directed by a man. So even when the ‘lesbian’ film we have all waited for arrives, it still is not afforded a women’s perspective on the direction. While this should have played in favor of the straight, male Academy, it was still about two women and not of interest to them.

Dennis Harvey

Despite all the early critical rapture, a whole lot of people I know felt the way I did about "Carol"–that it’s impeccably acted and directed, but also remote and a bit dull. I think most viewers find it easy to admire but hard to actually love.

Caro

I watched the movie yesterday with my husband and my mum. As we ( even my husband who can be gross) love "Brokeback" as we felt nothing during "Carol". The movie looks so stylised,too meticulous ,static and cold.We never buy how and why they feel in love .It lacks of passion .
It is more a movie that I admire for the details

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