Connor Mullaney’s review published on Letterboxd:
What a journey I've had with this one. From at first coming away a bit confused and disappointed to now in my fourth viewing or so--thinking this is definitely one of the most beautifully crafted and moving films that I know of.... That's when you know you're dealing with something special. A movie that gets better and better on subsequent viewings.
It's all about understanding it and appreciating all aspects of it more each time I come back to it. Noticing how precisely 1950s NYC was brought back to life, the grounded graininess of that super 16 film, the gut-wrenching score, the stout supporting acting from Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson...
And then of course, there's Therese and Carol's journey--what barriers they have to overcome. Why they feel the way they do.
I think back to the early train scene after Therese leaves Carol's place. She hits a breaking point and cries at the window of the car, and upon my first viewing I didn't quite understand why. Now when I watch it, I feel like Rooney's beautiful face and eyes and raw emotion alone are taking me through her entire thought process, and I break down with her. That is nuts.
It's not absolutely perfect. No film ever is. I could nitpick about a few things. But to me, this one comes mighty close to perfection. It's the type of film that doesn't come right at you--you have to enter it yourself and really pay attention. It doesn't give you all the answers. It leaves you wondering how Carol and Therese's relationship would transpire beyond the scope of the end credits. It has a life of its own, and I plan to revisit it at least once a year to see what kind of new discoveries I might make each time.