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Therese, a young department-
store clerk in 1950s Manhattan,
meets Carol, a beautiful older
woman stuck in a depressing
marriage of convenience. As their
bond deepens and they become
romantically involved, Carol finds
the strength to leave her
husband. Unfortunately, her
spouse starts to raise questions
about her fitness as a mother
when he realizes that Carol's
relationships with her best friend
Abby and Therese are more than
The genre of the film is executed perfectly in the trailer with
balancing the footage with shots of old-fashioned buildings and
period clothing referencing to it being a period drama since the
film is set in the 1950s and it being a romantic film, due to the
subtle connection and chemistry between the film’s two primary
characters, Carol and Therese.
Since the film revolves around a lesbian relationship in the
1950s, their romance and love for each other is portrayed
through the trailer in a subtle and discreet way, which ties in with
the genre of forbidden romance and or star-crossed lovers,
referencing to a pair of lovers who are not meant to be together
by society’s conformities, in this case them being both women.
The forbidden love between Carol and Therese is additionally
personified through Carol’s narration, which is directed towards
Therese and talks about how “there are no accidents”, referring
to their first meeting, which is a common trope used in star-
crossed lovers stories.
The trailer does portray the genre of a period film exceptionally,
such as the bland colour tone used throughout the old-fashioned
buildings shown. As well, the production design among the
interiors of such places like Carol’s house, a restaurant and a
department store, clearly represent the 1950s setting, the film is
trying to recreate.
The trailer’s focus on characters are of Carol and Therese and
their forbidden love. This is especially personified throughout
the trailer with Carol’s narration, which is directed towards
Therese. This creates a passion among both of them, which
exaggerates just how strong the bond between them is. In
addition, the longing glances between both Carol and
Therese, further show how their romance in this film is the key
aspect of the story.
Once the narration speaks “and then it changed”, there is this
sudden conflict and the revelation arises that this love which
Carol and Therese so desperately want is not possible, due to
the societal norms of the 1950s and that Carol is married with
a husband who is ruthless and dislikes the fact that she is a
In addition, throughout the trailer there are some secondary
characters, which have some importance, such as Carol’s
arrogant husband and her daughter, which is what her
husband is saying he’ll take away from her if she continues to
be romantically involved with Therese.
When her husband says, “It shouldn’t be like this”, Carol
replies back with, “I know”, which shows that even Carol
knows that this romance between her and Therese cannot be,
which further strengthens the fact that this bond between
them is powerful and shows them as star-crossed lovers.
The location of the film is given throughout the trailer, which
is 1950s New York. With old-fashioned cars, high-end
clothing and period settings of places like restaurants and
inside Carol’s house, the location and setting is perceived
very well to make the film look like it was set in that era.
The mise-en-scene is also shown among the opening shots
of the trailer, which is the department store where Carol and
Therese meet for the first time. The scenery among the store
is full of Christmas decorations and presents, most likely
since the film is set at that time of the year. This gives a
sense of joy and illumination in the first seconds of the trailer.
Among the toys, there are old-fashioned dolls and a train set,
which were popular in that era.
There are various shots in the trailer, that show that the film
is set in New York, such as the exterior scenes where you
can see yellow taxi cabs and large buildings. When Therese
takes a photograph of Carol she is using an old-fashioned
camera, which further emphasizes how the film is set in the
In addition, the detailed clothes of all the characters shown
throughout the trailer, does show how the film is a period
piece set in the 1950s.
Throughout the trailer the clothes worn by Carol, Therese and
the other secondary characters, it is clear to see that the film is
set in the 1950s, since they are all wearing 1950s-styled
Since Carol is a wealthy New York socialite, the clothes she
wears are luxurious and lavish, such as her brown fur coat
which is seen various times throughout the trailer and her
numerous fancy dresses, which make her look extravagant
upper class. Whereas, Therese wears more domestic clothes
since she is working class. The clothes, which are worn by her
through the trailer, are long cotton shirts with vests, turtlenecks
and skirts. As well, she wears a matching scarf and burette,
which look cheap.
The makeup worn by Carol is very bright and vibrant, since the
majority of it is red, ranging from her red lipstick to her red
fingernails, which makes her stand out. Therese’s makeup is
more natural and uses maroon lipstick and brown eye shadow.
The two men who appear in the trailer are Carol’s husband and
Therese’s friend. They are both wearing fedoras and long
brown overcoats.. The colour and lighting among the trailer of
Carol has hints of a mellow green and light scarlet red. The
expressive power of the colours gives a sensual flair towards
how the trailer looks and feels.
The film was shot on grainy, 16-mm. film, in order to create a
vintage effect and to make the film seem old-fashioned.
There is a pan shot in the opening seconds of the trailer of the
department store where Carol and Therese first meet. This shows
the importance of the place in the film. This frame fades to Carol
and as it does there is a gleam of bright lights on the left side of
the frame, which gives a illusion-like fantasy to what Therese is
There are various two shots of Carol and her husband which is
the conflict among the trailer, where they are either fighting or
Carol is distressed that he is threatening her. These are important
towards the film to show how the relationship between Carol and
Therese does not just involve the two.
The film’s main visual trope is the camera angles of characters
seen through the glass of car windows and apartment windows
that are spattered with raindrops, streaked with reflections of sky
glare and streetlights. This is done for effect so that the
representation of the characters can be seen as not clear, but
rather obstructed which contains parallels with the story of the
There are an abundance of shot reverse shots between Carol and
Therese as they exchange longing looks, which emphasizes the
love and admiration between them as a couple. This is either
done with medium shots or extreme close ups.
The titles and credits used throughout the trailer consists
of mellow green text in caps in a simple font against a
plain background. This is most likely so that it is easy to
read. The credits range from reviews about the film to the
cast and crew. The credits fade on and off the screen.
The music in the background is non-dietetic and features
a piano version of the song ‘Where We Met’ by Immediate
Music. The song fits into the film’s genre which is a
forbidden love set in the 1950s, since it is slow and the
piano accompanies the romance so well between Carol
The reason there are reviews within the trailer is so that
the audience can understand how other people enjoyed
the film. For example, it says ‘A MASTERPIECE’, which
shows how the Evening Standard holds the film in high
Towards the end of the trailer, it shows ‘ACADEMY
AWARD WINNER – CATE BLANCHETT’ and ‘ACADEMY
AWARD NOMINEE – ROONEY MARA’, on the screen in a
large text. This is so that the audience watching whom
either likes the actresses in the film or like prestigious
awards would enjoy watching the film.