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Carol is Both the Best Christmas Movie and the Best Iowa Movie: A Treatise

Dec 2, 2020 | Life | 0 comments

By Erica Barz
Special to GoGuide Magazine

As the sun disappears from the sky earlier each day, nights grow colder, and the pandemic saps ever more joy from our souls, many of us are desperately seeking holiday cheer and warmth. We need something that will lift our spirits, make us merry and, most importantly, is gay as hell. That thing, my beloved queer community, is Carol.

I first saw the film in 2015 at the Varsity Theatre in Des Moines (R.I.P.) and having grown accustomed to both 1) table scraps of lesbian representation in movies and 2) the few lesbian movies that did exist being truly terrible, it blew my unsuspecting mind. This movie had everything: gorgeous cinematography and music, Cate Blanchett at her hottest, and a truly inspiring disdain for men woven through its ethos. What lesbian among us has not joked about wooing our paramours with a clandestine glove lunch after seeing how well it worked for this film’s titular character? On top of this embarrassment of riches, it was also indisputably a newly minted Christmas and Iowa classic.

To the untrained eye, it may appear that this is a movie that just happens to be set at Christmas time, but not a Christmas movie in its own right. This conclusion couldn’t be further from the truth. Carol does not push its holiday agenda outright, a trait it shares with Die Hard, another iconic Christmas classic. However, if you look closely, the true message of the film becomes clear: Christmas belongs to lesbians. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

It is also indisputably an Iowa movie. The most significant scene in the film (no spoilers) takes place in our own Waterloo. Hearing Cate Blanchett’s velvety voice dunk on the city’s name (isn’t that awful?) is truly the most thrilling “oh hey, they mentioned Iowa!” moment in all of cinema. Field of Dreams, who?

As of this writing, I’m waiting with bated breath to find out whether Clea Duvall’s new movie, Happiest Season starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, can compete with the OG best lesbian Christmas movie. Carol walked so that Happiest Season and whatever queer lady holiday films come after it could run.

Make your yuletide gay this season by watching Carol on Netflix and Happiest Season on Hulu. And regardless of whether or not you share my extremely correct opinions about Carol, I hope you have a happy and safe holiday this year.

GoGuide Media | All Rights Reserved | December 2020

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