2016 Oscars Challenge: [13] “Carol” – Best Adapted Screenplay

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CAROL
Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy
Based on “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith


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FILM SYNOPSIS: In the early 1950s, department store clerk Therese Belivet is entranced by Carol Aird, a self-assured suburban housewife. As their relationship intensifies, Therese and Carol find themselves subjected to vehement scrutiny, especially by Carol’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Harge, and Carol is pressured to abandon the affair in order to retain custody of her young daughter.


Because of its simplistic nature, the screenplay of “Carol” does not feel like much. It’s a love story at its heart, of two women of different ages falling in love in the 1950s, when such a thing was considered perverse. But as Mara explains in the featurette, author Patricia Highsmith was known for writing criminal mind stories and this is the only one that’s not, yet there are elements within it that still feel mysterious and lurk in that general territory, whether it be Carol hiding a gun in her luggage that Therese then sees or the meetings between Carol and Abby.

What’s its competition? Since “Carol” is a simple love story at times, it is hard to really consider it a threat in this category, especially since it is the only film nominated here that doesn’t also have a corresponding Best Picture nomination. All four other nominees do. At the top of its competition is an emotional taught drama about a woman raising a son while being held against her will in a shed (“Room”) and probably even above that is a film about the stock market crash and a group of people that capitalized off of that (“The Big Short”). Both of these films have so much more going on, far above a simple love story. And although there’s obviously nothing against “Carol,” because it’s a beautiful film, the idea that it will beat out one of these other screenplays is not one to place bets on.

Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Phyllis Nagy.

“Carol” (2015) Story Featurette:


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// Produced by Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley, and Christine Vachon //Directed by Todd Haynes //
// Dated Viewed: Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 // LAEMMLE NOHO //  29 films – 37 days //

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