Everybody I know knows how much I love Cate Blanchett. They have also heard me babble incessantly about Carol for more than 3 years now. Still I thought I was a functioning human being who can get up and ask a simple question at a festival screening. Turns out that’s not the case.
My long weekend of Carol events at the New York Film Festival started Wednesday night with a talk with Ed Lachman. He was articulate and eloquent. The most interesting tidbit to me however was that he mentioned that in addition to the screenplay, Todd Haynes presents his cast and crew with a “lookbook” that illustrates how he envisions almost every frame in the movie. A storyboard of sorts I guessed.
The anecdote was on my mind all through the standby line for Friday’s premiere, even as I waited in the soaking rain. I thought about it while I watched Todd Haynes being interviewed Saturday morning. It stayed vivid in my mind because every frame of the movie drips with meticulous beauty. By the time I got to seeing the movie for the second time in less than 24 hours it was crystallized into a question for Cate about the beautiful way she posed and was framed in the movie and if these lookbooks helped her performance.
So when the time came for the Q and A, I asked her. I thought going on about Lachman and lookbooks would be too much so I decided to edit. Or maybe I just got lost in the moment and completely lost my train of thought. Here is what I think I said:
My question is for Cate. The performance is emotional and moving. Just everything. But I wanted to ask about the look and the pose. In every frame, it’s just perfection. How did you manage that?
The moderator Amy Taubin paraphrased it as “how did you manage to be perfect in every frame?” Which let’s face it, is probably what I meant anyway. Taubin knows a fan when she sees one.
The moment became hilarious. The Alice Tully Hall audience erupted into laughter and applause. Even Haynes almost fell out of his seat laughing. Cate, I think, was a bit embarrassed by my effusing love for her performance. Still she managed to be as generous as she always is and deferred the credit to her fellow actor saying “It was all in the gaze, looking into Rooney’s eyes”. And after a beat said a very sweet and short “but thank you” to me.
If you’ve seen the movie you probably got what I meant. And look at the way she's posing in these photos. She is perfect. And that moment of utterly embarrassing myself is one I will treasure.