Tár (2022)

February 6th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Todd Field | Cast: Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss | US Biopic Drama 158′

Cate Blanchett is sheer dynamite – allegedly mastering fluent German – as a world famous musician foisted by her own petard in this hefty near three hour biopic from US director Todd Field.

Field, in his first film since Little Children (2006), firmly establishes the gravitas of Lydia Tár’s prestigious position as head conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in the prodigious opening scenes of a feature which luxuriates in its endlessly fascinating main character; her peripatetic high-net-worth lifestyle amongst the Berlin’s musical luminaries, her pioneering grit and perseverance in accomplishing her multiple worthy achievements: now at the zenith of her career she is a pianist, composer, conductor and successful family woman who has adopted a Syrian refugee with lover Sharon Goodnow (the ever luminous Nina Hoss) and is seemingly in-eclipsible, or so it would seem. But then allegations of impropriety surface – as they always seems to these days – leading to a down-spiralling in professional and homelife. Is she a narcissist? or simply a perfectionist unwilling to accept second best from her fellows, or herself – Field leaves you to make the final decision.

Slow-burning towards a coruscating crescendo after a languorous, immersive overture, Tár’s denouement is decidedly gut-punching. Certainly a film for cineastes or fans of classical music, this is heavyweight yet compelling entertainment, that keeps us engaged throughout its running time. A magnum opus for Field and a tour de force par excellence for Blanchett. Let’s hope she wins the Oscar – she certainly deserves to. MT

IN CINEMAS FROM 13 JANUARY 2023 | Copa Volpi Award for Best Actress Cate Blanchett | VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2022


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