Wait, This New Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara Movie Is NOT a “Carol” Sequel?

Moments ago, I opened Twitter and saw a few photos of Carol (2015) on my timeline, which is normal; and then I saw a few more photos of Carol (2015) on my timeline, which is also normal; and then I saw a few more photos of Carol (2015) on my timeline, which: again, normal. I mean obviously it was Carol. It’s Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in the snow and Cate’s got that Carol hair and the cigarette and the gloves, of all things, and Rooney’s looking at her like she’s afraid she’s about to get murdered and also like Cate hung the literal moon in the sky, and in at least one of the photos, Cate’s making that “we’re not ugly people, Harge” face. But then, I noticed that it seems like Therese is wearing Carol’s coat. And Therese’s hair is longer; a lot longer. And, like, why do these camera angles look unfamiliar to me, a person who has seen Carol no less than one hundred thousand times.

“Oh my god!” I screeched, out loud, springing from my chair and sending my cats flying in all directions, “IT’S A CAROL SEQUEL!”

But then I read the captions of the tweets and no? It’s not a sequel? Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett are wearing the exact same clothes from Carol and standing very close and intensely next to each other for a whole other movie? It is Guillermo del Toro’s remake of the 1947 film noir Nightmare Alley, which, according to the plot summary I just read on Wikipedia, is literally Pretty Little Liars.

Well, that’s that. The best movie of 2020.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1719 articles for us.


  1. This movie could open with a title card saying that nothing romantic will happen between Blanchet and Rooney’s characters and every scene they have together would still feel like queer bait.

    • Outstanding. I agree.
      Although, to be fair, so few films pass the Bechdel test, and I am so starved of queer content/only ever really watch queer romantic films (I’m not sure which it is tbh) that any time two women are talking to each other in a film I expect them to kiss. In the end.
      And I’m very disappointed when they don’t.

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