In the Carol screenplay written by Phyllis Nagy, there is a scene in which Therese gives Richard a hand job. It happens on page eighteen and is after Therese meets Carol for the first time. The scene is meant to highlight Therese’s inexperience, as well as the interactions with Richard that have been put on autopilot (all of them). For obvious reasons, it has been — until now –unspeakable. But I bring it up because I feel a thank you is in order.
Because that scene was filmed. It leapt from the page onto a film set and was shot over and over and over. The story is that they couldn’t get the, hm, aftermath to look realistic. First it was too watery, then it was too thick, then it wasn’t the right color, and so on. It was some poor production’s assistant job to hold a squib rig (the instrument responsible for things like blood splatter, etc.) at the ready while crouched down just out of shot for the hours-long nightmare of having to listen to New Jim climax on loop.
And yet, despite all of this effort, all the first and second-hand embarrassment, the scene was cut. Sure, scenes get cut all the time. But think how freaking jazzed some straight male executive was to have this scene included “for the story,” searching for something, anything, to invalidate this movie about women not wanting men. That means whoever’s responsible for its removal really went to bat for us. They were our Dottie Hinson up for the last pitch (from the first half of the movie).
Toddbaby, was it you? Did you watch the first cut of the film and think to yourself: “Oh no.” Cate Blanchett, who helped co-produced the film – was it you? Were you informed of its inclusion via fax or whatever ancient form of communication you certainly use to receive messages and said out loud to a bouquet of juliet roses, “Remind me to speak to Todd about removing that,” thus making it so? Rooney, did you see playback-after-excruciating-playback, internalize it, think on it, and then three months later threaten to trash the place if they didn’t take it out? New Jim, was it you? Hell, I’ll send an edible arrangement to Richard, I don’t care.
Whoever it was, please, it would be my pleasure – no, MY HONOR – to send you a delicious edible arrangement. Just contact me. Keep in mind the last time someone accepted an edible arrangement offer I’d made on the internet, they gave me their email address when I asked for their address, so don’t do that. Send me your real address, or at least someone’s real address. I love you.