continues director Todd Haynes's
turn as a latter day Douglas Sirk
. In Carol, he explores the suppressed sexual desires between a young counter clerk and an older woman. In this though, the clerk is a young woman. It is a movie based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, The Price of Salt, which was a formative novel for the gay and lesbian community.
In this film as in the book, the love that blossoms between the women is meant to be normal. It attempts to have a happy ending, but it was still ambiguous. It attempts to make the young lady realize her growing desire. It attempts to make the older woman less of a vamp and more of a tortured soul. They are or may be right together.
As with Sirk, Haynes deals with the sublimated ugliness within American culture of the 50s. The way the husband whispered in quiet tones about his wife's dalliances. The way the boyfriends desperately pleaded with the young one for some semblance of hetero love. The discreet glances, the touches, all had to be held back in a more repressive society.
There is a scene of lovemaking in this movie. It was tasteful to say the least. Somewhat titillating showing the love made physical. It was there to remind us that there was still sex at that time.
I really wanted to like this film, but it was too smooth for me. I can see how it has won accolades
with the acting by both Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Both actresses were very good effectively portraying the strain in their psyche as they fought society, their desires, and their commitments. It may have been a good movie but not for me.
3 of 5 stars.
Labels: movies, review