This is it: the New York Film Festival ends this weekend. For moviegoers it’s been a hectic three weeks; for journos, much, much longer. Some screenings are stand-by only, but waiting in line for tickets that may never come (though you never know!) is worth it for some of these, at least. Here’s some thoughts on this weekend’s wares.
Todd Haynes’ lesbian drama, in which Rooney Mara’s 1950s shopgirl is pursued by a society dame (Cate Blanchett), arrives on the heels of “Freeheld,” an artless and didactic message movie about LGBT tolerance. “Carol,” by contrast, is artful — an impossibly lush romance in a minor key that’s more interested in exploring how one conducts the business of love when one can’t even say its name. Blanchett and Mara carefully negotiate the terms of a relationship that’s prevented by both sexual mores and class, putting us in the head space of people forced to think practically about the least practical of emotions. Haynes has often done the past, in “Far from Heaven” and “Mildred Pierce,” in an appropriated Douglas Sirk voice. Here, he soaks in the fine duds and bygone mores in a style that feels modern and old-timey — unstuck in time, and heavy with heartbreak, right up to that final second.