Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara simmer in ‘Carol’ trailer

Two years ago after winning her second Oscar for “Blue Jasmine,” Cate Blanchett could well claim her third for playing another woman in crisis in “Carol.” Todd Haynes adapted Patricia Highsmith‘s 1952 novel “The Price of Salt,” in which a housewife (Blanchett) falls in love with a store clerk (Rooney Mara). The film premiered at Cannes to rave reviews and a Best Actress win for Mara. Now,  those Oscar whizzes at the Weinstein Company have scheduled the picture for a limited release on Nov. 20. (Watch the trailer below.)

The theme of sexual identity runs throughout Haynes’ work. “Carol” marks only his sixth feature in a career dating back almost a quarter of a century that. His third film, “Velvet Goldmine,” with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a bisexual glam rock star in 1970s London, won him Best Artistic Contribution at the 1998 Cannes filmfest. 

His fourth film, “Far From Heaven” in 2002, was, like “Carol,” another drama set in 1950s suburbia. Julianne Moore reaped a Best Actress bid for playing a housewife whose perfect world is upended when her husband (Dennis Quaid) comes out. 

Haynes’ last movie was “I’m Not There” back in 2007. Blanchett earned a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her gender-bending portrayal of Bob Dylan; she lost to Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”). 

Following that, Haynes turned to television, co-writing and directing a 2011 five-part adaptation of James Cain‘s classic novel “Mildred Pierce.” Kate Winslet won an Emmy for her work as the title character, a mother preparared to make the ultimate sacrifice for an ungrateful daughter. 

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One of Blanchett’s first American films was the 1999 adaptation of Highsmith’s acclaimed mystery “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” The year before, the Australian actress had earned her first Oscar nomination as the Virgin Queen in the historical drama “Elizabeth.” She would contend again for the sequel “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” in 2007. She lost that first Best Actress bid to Gwyneth Paltrow (“Shakespeare in Love”) and the second to Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”). 

Blanchett won the Supporting Actress award in 2004 for her uncanny portrayal four-time Oscar champ Katharine Hepburn in the Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator.” And she was nominated again in that category in 2006 for playing the object of another woman’s affection in “Notes on a Scandal,” losing to Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”). 

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