Photo from FilmBook

Tár stars Cate Blanchett as the titular Lydia Tár. She is an accomplished orchestra conductor who has a big symphony coming up. However, she struggles to remain calm and professional when things start to fall apart in her life.

This performance by Cate Blanchett will probably win her the Best Actress Oscar next year. She is the reason to go see this film. I never realized how much physicality there was to conducting and Blanchett captured that very well. In fact, you are so drawn in by Blanchett that you might dismiss or disregard the red flags hinted about her character.

Tár is a unique film. I’m not sure I loved it as much as other critics seem to, but I found it interesting. I believe this is mainly because some of the discussions in the film went over my head as I am not well-versed in classical music and other famous conductors. I do think the film also was a bit too long and had a visual motif that I felt was unnecessary about the state of Tár’s mind.

This film is really a character piece about the fall of a great musician. Tár is undoubtedly a great musician that is no question. She is the director of Berlin’s Philharmonic, an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) winner, and claims that Leonard Bernstein was her mentor. However, that does not make her behavior towards others acceptable though it can be quite subtle at times. She is also haunted by music, sounds will wake her up at night, though it is sometimes unclear whether they are real or just coming from her head.

Tár is clearly very esteemed by her colleagues. Her assistant greatly admires her, yet is quite intimidated by her. It is understood early on that Tár’s way is the way it has to go. She is very self-involved, and while her musical genius gives her a reason to be, the way she dismisses others, particularly those who are supposed to be the most important people in her life, is very telling.

Social media plays an interesting role in this film. It is a part of her downfall, but may not actually be the reason she gets “canceled.” It is somewhat unclear who is posting about her. Tár feels as though there as people out to get her, and well that kind of proves to be true.

Overall, Tár is an intriguing character study that delves into the “cancel culture” of today’s time. The way the story slowly unravels is quite engaging and Blanchett is simply enrapturing to watch as this complex, narcissistic, virtuoso of a woman.

I give Tár a B+

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