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Thought the pilot episode was engaging, mostly because of Blanchett. Reminded me some of Bombshell, though I was surprised to find Schalfley here more sympathetic than I found Megyn Kelly in that movie. I think both show women who are playing a role for personal advancement, but Mrs. America gives more overt suggestions that its character is aware that she is doing so. It will be interesting as the story progresses to see if there is *development* of the characters -- because I'm not sure how there could be.
Carol is another movie getting major buzz from Cannes. It's adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt and stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, and is directed by Todd Haynes. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw: "Todd Haynes’s Carol is an amour fou which plays out with sanity and generosity: it is a superbly realised companion piece to his 50s Sirkian drama Far From Heaven and an overt homage to Lean’s Brief Encounter. The film is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, about the love affair between a virginal shopgirl and the beautiful older married woman that she serves in the pre-Christmas rush in a Manhattan department-store: they are played here by Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. Just occasionally, along with the classic echoes, Carol has the obsessive frisson of Nic Roeg’s Bad Timing and – with the flourishing of a revolver – Haynes conjures a fraught kind of Nabokovian despair and futile melodrama." Justin Chang: "An exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story that teases out every shadow and nuance of its characters' inner lives with supreme intelligence, breathtaking poise and filmmaking craft of the most sophisticated yet accessible order." Todd McCarthy: "Blanchett makes an indelible impression as a woman who, through breeding, intense personal cultivation and social expectations, has brilliantly mastered the skill of navigating through life, but to ultimately disastrous effect on her husband, child and her own satisfaction. It has all, of course, been a charade, and what is impressive is that Carol has the strength to even try to change course after so many years. The roughly half-as-old Therese is unformed clay, which makes her largely a reactive character most of the way. But Mara really comes into her own in the story’s latter stages as, without overt melodrama, Therese realizes what she wants. Thanks largely to how Mara shapes her characterization in the home stretch, the final, dialogue-free scene is a knockout.