Collaborating with Cate Blanchett, for whom the film was written and devised, Todd Field has created a weighty portrait of a world-class conductor and composer (the fictional Lydia Tár) with a towering ego to match her formidable professional reputation. She finds herself in the grip of an increasingly suffocating career crisis. She’s launching, in New York, a book of theoretical analysis (called, mischievously, Tár on Tár) while simultaneously preparing for an eagerly awaited performance in Berlin (Mahler’s Symphony No 5), putting the final touches to a live album and is being stalked by a former mentee who has become obsessed with her.
In this brooding slow-burn drama, the renowned musician’s life unravels as her history of abusive behaviour is unearthed. Although this is discreetly handled, the themes are complex and challenging.
Cate Blanchett gives the performance of a lifetime (Golden Globe and BAFTA winning and Oscar nominated), benefitting from an intelligent and thought-provoking script which encourages the audience to form their own views on #Me-Too and ‘cancel culture’ while experiencing much loved excerpts of Elgar and Mahler.
Widely acclaimed by critics, the film has been nominated for five Oscar and five BAFTA awards.
Running Time 158 mins
Ratings Info 5 Stars
Director(s) Todd Fieldegel
Cast includes Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Adam Gopnik, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Mark Strong.
Nominations & Awards 65 wins from 302 nominations – Best Actress Awards at Golden Globe and BAFTA and five each BAFTA nad OSCAR nominations.
No one but Blanchett could have delivered the imperious hauteur necessary for portraying a great musician heading for a crackup or a creative epiphany………….
The genius of Todd Field’s superb “TÁR” comes from the way the film-making echoes the treacherously seductive and mercurial nature of its central character. It’s a phenomenal picture, supported by top-tier crew, from Bina Daigeler’s costumes to Florian Hoffmeister’s lithe camerawork.
Grappling with what it means to be an artist in the modern era has seemingly brought the best out of both Field and star Cate Blanchett, who has unquestionably delivered the performance of a lifetime………..Surrounding Tár are a clutch of beautifully realised supporting characters.
Even more impressive is how Field presents the rarefied, unknowable world of classical music in such compelling, forensic detail that it becomes an engrossing cinematic universe…………… The film is also alive to the power of the music at its centre (mainly Mahler and Elgar)
“TÁR” is a masterwork. A gripping, grown-up movie superbly orchestrated by Todd Field and perfectly played by a virtuoso, career-best Cate Blanchett.
Cate Blanchett is masterful as maestro in a crisis………..Tár also feels real because of Blanchett’s virtuoso performance that has just won her a Golden Globe. The scenes where she conducts the orchestra aren’t just convincing but thrilling and transportative. This dazzling character study will haunt you long after the credits roll.
Cate Blanchett swallows “TÁR” whole and spits out bullets in return. It’s a performance that functions as a total culmination, the crystallised form of all the women Blanchett’s played in the past, who act like they have total control but may actually be hollow on the inside.
“TÁR” is essentially about our current moment, and all the whirlpools of discourse around #MeToo and “cancel culture”, but rarely in a way that feels like a polemic………….. “TÁR” reminds us that genius never lives alone.
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