The juries of the Cannes festivals are one thing that are really impossible to predict. It is still surprising that Quentin Tarantino is president of a jury but does not impose something like ‘Oldboy’ over a Michael Moore documentary, or that Steven Spielberg is crucial to highlight something like ‘The Life of Adèle’, also far from the claims of his own cinema and what we assume are his tastes.
From time to time the dirty laundry is aired and they are understood according to what things. For example, in 2015, when the French festival’s Palme d’Or was awarded to the social drama ‘Dheepan‘, by Jacques Audiard, a somewhat minor work that prevailed over a movie that was taking all the applause. However, Xavier Dolan persuaded the jury chaired by the Coen brothers to go in another direction, and still had the nerve to say that he felt like a better person (which Jake Gyllenhaal couldn’t resist saying). throw pullita) having passed ‘Carol’.
Looks that speak loudly
But time puts everything in its place, mostly. Today the capital film by Todd Haynes, who returns to the festival with ‘May December‘, is duly regarded as one of the best romantic movies of the last decade. Now that the name of the director and that of Cannes are current, it is a good time to recover it in streaming through Amazon Prime Video (also on Filmin).
Haynes places Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in another of his exquisite Douglas Sirk melodramas, taking us to 1950s New York where a couple of women exchange glances in a store. One is a young shop assistant, the other an elegant housewife who finds in this other woman the passion and vitality that she no longer finds in her unhappy marriage. The attraction between the two is undeniable.but his adventure is of enormous risk given the possible consequences that the housewife can experience if everything is exposed.
The director’s films tend to explore people oppressed by standards or labels in a very interesting way. People who find the atmosphere around them distressing, unbreathable even. An LGTBI romance in the middle of the 50s, where the traditional family models that supposedly can lift the country and its economy are imposed, is the kind of story that Haynes tells wonderfully, moving like a fish in water in these discomforts.
‘Carol’: electrifying and excellent
Still, it is not a miserable story. ‘Carol’ is electrifying through its subtlety and restraint, creating romantic moments from brushes, from glances to the other side trying to hide. Small details that speak loudlycreating a magnificent reverse sensation where the passion between these two characters is breathed even though everything possible is being done not to externalize it.
Haynes’ elegant storytelling lives up to two outstanding performers. Even excellent, who have priceless chemistry as well as a great mastery of their gestures to shape their characters. They fill them with life, with doubts, with humanity. Of all the director’s adventures in classic melodrama, this is the best. And also one of the best movies of the past decade.