Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska are to play lovers in a racy new film.

The two Australian actresses have taken the lead roles in upcoming drama Carol, a big screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novella The Price of Salt, about a New York department store worker in the 1950s who falls for an older woman.

Wasikowska will play the younger character, who heads off on a road trip with a divorcee, played by Blanchett.

The project will reunite the Elizabeth actress with moviemaker Todd Haynes, who directed her Oscar-nominated turn as a young Bob Dylan in 2007's I'm Not Here.