There are a number of films that will vie for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, but in contention is Todd Haynes’ Carol – a 1950s lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett.
Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 50s lesbian pulp novel The Price of Salt. While lesbian pulp novels usually ended in tragedy (it would have been blasphemous to end them in blissful romance) Highsmith broke barriers by doing the opposite. In The Price of Salt the lead falls for a young woman – a department store clerk and artist – and spoiler alert (!) it ends in a way that lets us imagine that the two women end up happy together.
Playing the two leads are Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as the younger woman, whilst Sarah Paulson and Carrie Brownstein (Paulson and Brownstein are both openly queer) play two other women in Carol’s life.
Todd Haynes’ recent films (Far From Heaven, I’m Not There) have played the fall festival circuit, and this latest drama, which the Weinstein Co. is releasing Stateside this fall, will mark his first appearance at Cannes since 1998’s “Velvet Goldmine,” which received a prize for artistic contribution from the jury.
With no trailer and just a fan-made video of on set photos to go on it’s unclear if Carol will simply hint at a happy ending or explicitly say it, but we’ll have to wait and see.