“Set in the international world of Western classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered one of the greatest living composer-conductors and first-ever female music director of a major German orchestra.”-IMDb
Cate Blanchett. I mean, come on. Do I even need to tell you that a movie starring Cate Blanchett is worth seeing at this point? Along with Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, and a few select others, Blanchett is just one of those actors who never misses. And Tár is no exception.
I’m glad this movie didn’t come out a few years ago, at the height of the Me Too movement, because I think it would have felt too reactionary at that time. Instead, this film feels like a deep meditation on elitism, abuses of power, microagressions, cancel culture, bias, identity politics, and subjects that have only been increasingly highlighted with social media and the pandemic.
Tár follows world-renowned composer, Lydia Tár as she begins to fall from grace after several accusations are leveled against her. This film almost has the same feel as The Shining, but based in reality as opposed to the supernatural. We see Blanchett slowly unravel over the film’s two and a half hour run time (yes, beware the run time, although the buildup of suspense made it feel much faster), making this much more of a psychological thriller than a run-of-the-mill contemporary drama. It is truly Blanchett’s performance that makes this movie, because as we see her move through the different stages of desperation, we also see the layers of this character peel back to reveal the monster within.
As with The Banshees of Inisherin, this movie doesn’t treat its audience with kid gloves. Instead, the filmmakers expect us to keep up in the world we are being brought into and think for ourselves when it comes to the themes being highlighted. You’ll leave with more questions than answers, but ultimately you’ll leave with the film having made an impression. And one that you’re not likely to forget any time soon.
*Okay, so maybe Indian Jones 4 was a miss, but you can’t lay that at Cate’s feet…
Rating: 8 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: Black Swan, All About Ever
Streaming: Available to rent or own on Apple TV/Amazon
With: Cate Blanchett, Noemie Merlant
Directed By: Todd Field