This week at Royston Picture Palace: A tale of forbidden love told with sensitivity and style

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol - Credit: Archant

It may have gone on general release in the UK just before Christmas but there’s no Santa hook to Carol, this week’s presentation at Royston’s Picture Palace.

It’s based on an early Patricia Highsmith novel, first published under a pseudonym given the scandalous subject matter.

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara play the central characters, a curious shopgirl and a sultry sophisticate who feel a spark of attraction which builds into a full-blown lesbian affair.

Calling the shots is cult director Todd Haynes, noted for his loving touch with period pieces – Far From Heaven back in 2002 saw Julianne Moore in full 1950s mode, and more recently his glossy TV version of 1940s Joan Crawford vehicle Mildred Pierce with Kate Winslet in the title role was widely praised – but probably still best known for Velvet Goldmine, a 1970s set tale of rock and roll excess.

The 1950s set film has been described as a perfect marriage of director and material – it looks gorgeous, the central characters are in fine form and it all makes for a complex and compelling drama.

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