Australian actress, two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is clearly in her prime. The raves coming out of Cannes this year for her performance in Todd Haynes’ adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s story, “Carol” are unanimous and deafening. And joyous.
Already sounding like a female “Brokeback Mountain,” “Carol” has virtually an all-gay creative team behind it. Haynes is an openly gay director, and the late Patricia Highsmith was a gay novelist. Though in her time, the ’40 & ’50s Highsmith was constrained to write about male characters rather than female.
Her “Strangers on a Train” had what was probably a homidical homosexual at its’ center Bruno Anthony. He was famously portrayed in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie by the late Robert Walker. And times were such that Hitchcock had to shoot TWO versions of “Strangers” one for American audiences and one for British. In America, the scene where Bruno and the studly tennis pro, Guy, meet it was just two guys hangin’ out, but in the British version, it was a gay pick-up. More to the point, Highsmith had to write about two GUYS, not two women.
In “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” Highsmith had to again have a male hero or anti-hero, who was another tortured soul to be sure(and also a killer). In “The Price of Salt” yes, she did finally write about women, but if was published under another name.
“The Price of Salt” is probably flying off the bookshelves right now because it is what “Carol” is based on. Already being hailed in Cannes as a Gay Classic, it seems surely to be Oscar bound for both Blanchett in the title role and Rooney Mara in Supporting, as the shop-girl/photographer who is the object of Carol’s affections…
Oh, and there’s another Oscar point, I haven’t mentioned. Its’ producer is Oscar Whisperer Harvey Weinstein. His presence alone assures that Blanchett and Mara, too, will be nominated. The question is will the Academy deem fit to give Blanchett a THIRD Oscar for “Carol”?
She’s also had a stellar box-office hit “Cinderella” this year, which may net her a Supporting nod as the Evil Stepmother.
This could be yet ANOTHER year of the Cate. Ladies and gentle-persons, the Envelope. please!