Movies, TV & Music
Little White Lies

Little White Lies November - December 2015

The freshest and most credible voice in film, LWLies is the world's most stunning film source. Honest, unmerciful, relevant - and always beautiful.

United Kingdom
The Church of London
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6 Issues

in this issue

7 min.

Directed byTODD HAYNES,StarringROONEY MARA, CATE BLANCHETT, KYLE CHANDLER Released27 NOVEMBER Carol is a love story. Like all great love stories, its power comes from the universal emotion soaring beneath its specific concerns. The film owes a debt to the immaculate prose of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 source novel – not to mention her social daring in writing a sophisticated and beautiful novel of love between two women at a time when that love was defined legally and morally as ‘obscene’. Haynes’ adaptation is up there with Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin as an example of how to retain the soul of a book while transforming it for maximum cinematic effect. To be believed, love stories need to capture the steps in between meeting an attractive stranger and falling in love with them. Love is…

7 min.
the amorous imagination

PATRICIA HIGHSMITH “The first time I came into contact with Patricia Highsmith was unquestionably Strangers on a Train. The film rather than the book. The attraction was instant. I think that film is a beautiful marriage of Highsmith’s sensibility with that of Hitchcock’s. It remains one of the most extraordinary of his extraordinary career. That would be the beginning of my fascination with what she could do as an artist. I’ve now read a whole read a whole handful of her classic crime novels, but I did not know about ‘The Price of Salt’. It was only when this project came to me in May of 2013 that I first read it.” LOVE “The script came to me, but I read the book first. And then I read the script, and then the…

5 min.
the great beauty

Patricia Highsmith published ‘Carol’ (née ‘The Price of Salt’) 17 years before Cate Blanchett was born halfway around the world in Melbourne, Australia, and yet the author’s prose speaks to the actor’s screen presence as though she had been watching her all her life. As the title character of Todd Haynes’ immaculate adaptation, Blanchett inhabits the fictional character of Carol Aird with the same sense of divine preordination typically reserved for movie stars playing their real-life lookalikes, peeling a woman from the pages of a novel with the uncanny accuracy of a biopic reaching into the history books. Playing a married mother whose romantic desires are smothered by the strict heteronormativity of upper-crust social circles in 1950s New York and the role she’s been bred to perform in that pageant, Blanchett…

11 min.
surface tensions

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010) WORDS BY SIMRAN HANS David Fincher is interested in men. He is fascinated by the idea of fraternity; his films look at how men relate to other men at home (The Game), at school (The Social Network), at work (Se7en, Zodiac, House of Cards), even after work (Fight Club). There’s an intelligent bro-ishness to Fincher’s filmography, which wades through the mulch of contemporary masculinity, trying to make sense of it all with forensic curiosity. Yes, he is interested in men. Aaron Sorkin’s script for 2010’s The Social Network states that Facebook (working title ‘Face Mash’) was born out of the bitter break-up between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara). Yet, the film’s central break-up scene isn’t that famous, acerbic opening exchange. It’s the passionate, emotional,…

9 min.
the look of silence

Like a stolen glance between unacquainted lovers, fate had a hand in the defining chapter of Rooney Mara’s story. When Carol first called back in 2011, Mara was faced with an agonising decision, one she looks back on with mixed feelings. “As much as I adored the script, I couldn’t say yes,” she confesses. “I needed time to live life a little bit before I could jump into another part." Such was the situation in which Mara found herself after David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for which she worked 12 to 16 hour days over the course of a year (by comparison, Carol was shot in two months). It's unusual to hear an actor talk openly about the come down, although it stands to reason that switching off…

1 min.
the love parade

The words “I loveyou” burn like a fiery sun at the centre of Todd Haynes’ Carol, all other emotional matters orbiting around them like gorgeous debris. They are vital and finite, an acceptno-substitutes utterance which can as easily be the start as the end point for human relations. In cinema, “I love you” is used sparingly, but often innovatively by writers who play on its world-shaking ramifications. What does it mean to the person who dares speak this sanctified phrase? And what about those on the receiving end? It can be passionate. It can be hurtful. It can be humorous. It can be laced with sorrow. It is a giver of life and of death. It’s honesty and it’s lies. It’s pleasure and it’s pain. It’s character-building and embarrassing. This…