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Cannes gets all Swoony for Cate & Rooney in Carol: Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara (Cannes VIDEO Press Conference)

Remember a couple of years back—September 24, 2013 to be precise—when I shared the news that Rooney Mara was replacing Mia Wasikowska in Carol, the Cate Blanchett-starring screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's lesbian love story, The Price of Salt

Well, the film screened at Cannes this weekend, and almost in direct proportion to the amount of boos and bad reviews they heaped on the Matthew McConaughey, Naiomi Watts movie, Sea of Trees, the Cannes critics are falling all over themselves with lavish praise for the Todd Haines directed 1950's period piece. Here's a typical review from The Guardian and another from Variety. 

Cate Blanchett created her own little firestorm of interest for Variety's claim that she's had sexual relationships with other women—
When asked if this is her first turn as a lesbian, Blanchett curls her lips into a smile. “On film — or in real life?” she asks coyly. Pressed for details about whether she’s had past relationships with women, she responds: “Yes. Many times,” but doesn’t elaborate. Like Carol, who never “comes out” as a lesbian, Blanchett doesn’t necessarily rely on labels for sexual orientation. “I never thought about it,” she says of how she envisioned the character. “I don’t think Carol thought about it.” The actress studied the era by picking up banned erotic novels. “I read a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period,” she says.
Patricia Highsmith wrote Carol aka The Price of Salt 
under a pseudonym because the subject matter was 
clearly verboten when it was released in 1952.

Her comment got everyone buzzing, of course. Blanchett qualifies her statement in the press conference (link below). She did, in fact, qualify it to the interviewer at Variety, but of course, that bit never made it into the article. Anyway, the answer to the question, has she ever had same sex experiences, is No, but more importantly "Who cares?" 

So take Blanchett's admission with a grain of salt, if you will. 

The film was directed by Todd Haynes who directed the homosexual themed Far from Heaven with Dennis Quaid and Julianne Moore from a script written by Phyllis Nagy who wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley also based on a Patricia Highsmith novel. In the discussion about the emerging acceptance of homosexuality, Nagy makes the point that everything has changed since the 1950's, and nothing has changed. We have a mainstream movie about two women who have a love affair while homosexuality is still a crime in over seventy countries around the world. 

And a short clip from the film ...