The teaser trailer for Todd Haynes’ Carol — starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara — was true to its title, and revealed nothing more about the characters’ relationship than what could be surmised by their class-stratified garb, their stolen glances and the suggestive grazing of hands. Today, a full, nearly 2-minute trailer was released, providing far more insight into the film than the former aesthetically pleasing fragments.
In the film, set in 50s New York, Mara plays department store clerk Therese Belivet, who falls in love with Blanchett’s Carol — as the trailer indicates — after she visits Therese’s counter to buy a gift for her young daughter and compliments a Santa hat Therese is clearly made to wear. (Lucky for her, Carol leaves her gloves behind, giving Therese a reason to meet up with her again).
Carol is married, glamorous and wealthy, but is also, from the looks of it, desperately unhappy. The trailer reveals Carol’s husband, played by Kyle Chandler, intervening in her affair with Therese, and Carol seeking solace in the advice of her friend, played by the always-excellent Sarah Paulson. It shows the use of nostalgic cinematography not just capturing an era, but also evoking a sense of the unmet longing and social distance between these two characters.
Alas, the teaser may have dazzled with glimpses of the film’s Super 16 beauty, and this trailer may give insight into the depths beneath, but don’t worry: early reviews suggest none of these pre-release materials risk overhyping it. In their Cannes review, Variety said “even high expectations don’t quite prepare you for the startling impact of Carol.”
Carol, which is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, and which won Mara Best Actress at Cannes, had its U.S. premiere at Telluride over the weekend. It’ll be released in theaters on November 20.
Watch the trailer: