This won't have escaped you but we're a little bit obsessed with Todd Haynes's Carol. We tried to devote a week to it but the love can't be contained by calendars. The romantic drama about a glamorous society wife and a young shopgirl is rolling out slowly -- agonizingly slowly -- to more cities each week. It leads the Golden Globe nominations and though the Academy's decisions about the year's "best" are yet to come, there's reason to be hopeful that they'll embrace the filmmaker's triumphant return to the silver screen.
The Oscar-nominated production designer Judy Becker (American Hustle), is responsible for most everything you see onscreen in Carol from Therese's humble apartment to Frankenberg's Department Store, the Aird estate, and much more. "The props, there are close-ups on them, so I don’t know how you can say, that’s not important," she says passionately, underlining the fact that everything we see is part of 'the look'. She describes herself as a very hands-on designer and is sure this drives new members of her staff crazy but she has high praise for her frequent set decorator Heather Loeffler. "She never gets upset if I veto something but, at the same time, she brings a lot to the table and surprises me all the time with great stuff."
Though Becker is best known for her frequent collaborations with David O. Russell this is not her first Todd Haynes film, having also designed his abstract Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There (2007). We began our chat marvelling at his genius. Though I'm Not There was a larger scale task, essentially designing multiple worlds, Carol wasn't much easier for different reasons. "Every film has its challenges," she explains. And films as gorgeously realized as Carol don't happen without a lot of planning, work, and inspiration.
Our interview is after the jump...