Blanchett denies lesbian affairs as 'Carol' film wows Cannes

Sun May 17, 2015 10:45am EDT
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By Michael Roddy

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Cate Blanchett denied on Sunday a report she'd had affairs with women as the Cannes Film Festival swooned over her portrayal of a wealthy married woman who falls in love with an ambitious New York shopgirl in director Todd Haynes's "Carol".

The film, which has won rave reviews from critics and audiences, shows Blanchett's title character and Rooney Mara as the shopgirl Therese Belivet having an affair that includes making love in a motel "presidential suite".

Blanchett at a news conference was quick to contradict the published version of an interview she gave to the trade publication Variety in which she seemed to say she brought personal experience of affairs with women to the role.

"From memory, the conversation ran, 'Have you had relationships with women?' And I said, 'Yes, many times. If you mean I've had sexual relationships with them, the answer is 'No' -- but that obviously didn't make it to print," the Australian actress and mother of four children said.

"But in 2015, the point should be: Who cares?," she added.

"Carol" follows hard on the heels of the graphic "La Vie d'Adele" (Blue is the Warmest Color) about a lesbian affair, which won Cannes's top Palme d'Or prize two years ago.

Haynes's gorgeously photographed and sensitively plotted film is distinctly less racy but hugely sympathetic to the relationship of two women who fall in love when they set eyes on each other in a store at Christmas time.

Towards the end, when Carol is facing a choice between losing her lover and losing custody of her daughter, because of her supposedly bad moral character, she tells her husband and a roomful of lawyers she will not go against her nature.   Continued...

Cast members Rooney Mara (L) and Cate Blanchett pose during a photocall for the film "Carol" in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 17, 2015.      REUTERS/Regis Duvignau