Think I’m at the point with Todd Haynes where he’s mostly ceased to surprise me. And by that I mean do much of anything unexpected. Of course there will be the slightly academic appropriations of Sirk and Fassbinder. But now there’s also a square respectability to his approach that I find deflating. I wish these recent women’s melodramas had more of the pranksterish qualities (in abstract) of his earlier work. Out of that attitude, strangely, came the genuine devastation of films like Poison, Safe and Velvet Goldmine. Carol, weirdly, comes off at times like Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story done straight (pun intended, girl). Haynes is just using porcelain figurines instead of plastic ones.