Alfonso Gonclaves Q&A: ‘Carol’ editor
"Carol,” which tells the story of a forbidden love affair between a 1950s housewife (Cate Blanchett) and a shopgirl (Rooney Mara), opens and closes with bookends reminiscent of a romantic classic, David Lean’s 1945 Oscar-nominated “Brief Encounter.” “I think that what we hoped to achieve was to show how much you have to travel in love to get what you want,” explains editor Affonso Goncalves in our audio chat.
“We’re showing the love at its peak, when both of them understand they actually are in love with each other. You sandwich the distance you need to travel to get to that point.” However, as he reveals, in the original draft in the script, “there was another level of flashback, but it became too confusing, too strenuous, so we just kept it simple with the beginning and the end.” He’s referring to a scene towards the end of the film where Therese (Mara) attends a party and recalls her love affair with Carol (Blanchett).
“It just felt like too much,” admits Goncalves. “You’re watching it, and you’re falling for them, and you’re going with the story, and all of a sudden you’re back in this world. It’s like, no, no, no, I don’t wanna be here. So we quickly realized this is not something that’s helping getting us to where we want to go.”
Goncalves, known for his work on the Oscar-contending “Winter’s Bone” (2010) and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (2012) first collaborated with "Carol" director Todd Haynes on the 2011 mini-series "Mildred Pierce." He reaped an American Cinema Editor nomination for that and won the ACE award in 2014 for his his work on the first season of "True Detective," which also earned him an Emmy nomination.
Listen to our full interview below for more about his work on “Carol,” including finding the right pace, and the significance of this period drama to the world of today and then make your Oscar predictions for Best Film Editing using our easy drag-and-drop menu.