Set in the early 1950s, a young shopgirl (Rooney Mara) in a Manhattan department store finds herself attracted to an older housewife (Cate Blanchett) from New Jersey. I'm partial to Todd Haynes' films, both FAR FROM HEAVEN and SAFE are two of my all time favorites. But this retro lesbian romance didn't work for me. The honesty and rawness of a film like BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR has rendered this pale piece of forbidden love useless. If you told me I was watching a Merchant/Ivory film from the mid 1980s, I'd believe you. It's like the 1982 film MAKING LOVE but with lesbians instead of homosexuals. It worked with Haynes' FAR FROM HEAVEN because he usurped the style of Douglas Sirk and made a 1950s melodrama with a 2002 sensibility, one foot in the Hollywood past and the other foot in the new millennium. The film is too "tasteful" to show real passion and the love scene with Blanchett and Mara is chilly. Blanchett's artificial and mannered performance clashes with the naturalism of Mara and the wonderful Sarah Paulson (now she should have played Carol). Blanchett has a speech near the film's end that should be devastating and even have us in tears but it's so meticulously over controlled that it falls flat. Based on the novel THE PRICE OF SALT by Patricia Highsmith. With Kyle Chandler and Jake Lacy.