Blanchett, in an interview at Cannes, said that while love between two lesbians is of course central to “Carol,” it’s ultimately about love, regardless of gender.
“There’s something ‘Romeo and Juliet’-esque about it,” Blanchett said. “There’s a universality to the love story that moves it out of the niche. It’s about the perspective or the feeling of being in love for the first time. And, yes, it’s not immaterial that there are two women at the center of it. But at certain moments, it kind of is.”
Also in November is “The Danish Girl,” directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”). Based on the 1920s Copenhagen novel by David Ebershoff and starring Eddie Redmayne, it’s a fictionalized account of Lili Elbe, among the first to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
While that trio of films is expected to play major roles in awards season, there are others in the mix, too.
Roland Emmerich, taking a break from the disaster spectacles like “White House Down” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” depicts one of the most pivotal moments in the gay rights movement in “Stonewall” (Sept. 25), a drama set around the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in New York’s Greenwich Village.
And months after the celebrated transformation of Caitlyn Jenner, “About Ray” (Sept. 18) is about a teenager’s (Elle Fanning) transition from female to male, and how her family reacts.
It can be overly optimistic to take any seasonal trend as a sign of wider industry progress. Studies have confirmed that Hollywood continues to lag in representing the diversity of its audiences. Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg school recently found that among the 4,610 speaking characters in the 100 top-grossing films in 2014, only 19 were lesbian, gay or bisexual. None were transgender.
Many of these films also struggled to make it to the big screen. It took “Carol” almost two decades to finally get made; screenwriter Phyllis Nagy wrote her first draft in 1996.