I like Patricia Highsmith, so I wanted to make a point of reading the book before I read the film. I found them to be very different. The book is focused entirely on Therese, whereas the film was definitely more focused on Carol. Not neccessarily a bad thing, and obviously a book and a film are entirely different things, but I was a bit disappointed by that. The film therefore became more about a gay woman (and mother) embracing her independence in an unaccepting society, whereas the book was concerned with the story of girl falling in love and figuring out who she is both in society at large and within the context of her relationship with an older woman. I think there was a lot of character stuff that was missing from the film that I would have really liked to have seen them mine with these two actors. Not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels a bit like a missed opportunity. Not the female Brokeback that I was hoping for, but still loved the tone - especially throughout the first half in NY. Once they got on the road everything seemed a bit rushed, which is why I assume they decided to use the PI/divorce as the central plot at that point - unfortuinately relegating Therese's story considerably. The first half of the film is beautiful though. Kyle Chandler is great as always, but his character, Harge, is perhaps the film's best improvement on the book. He really doesn't have much to do in the book and you really don't get any real sense of who he is, whereas in the film he's wonderful conflicted and interesting.