BBefore her personal and professional downfall, Lydia Tarr occupied a sacred part of the cultural consciousness – accomplished pianist and cocky maestro, protégé of Leonard Bernstein, first female conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, EGOT winner and acclaimed author of memoirs. The kind of individualistic cultural figure and status idealist who dominates the room in New Yorker talk and basks in the glow of pioneering achievement while ignoring the weight of feminism (or the term “maestra”). Its success was, in her view, technically alone.
Tár is a fictional character, played wonderfully by Cate Blanchett, but Todd Field’s film specifically captures the trappings of a high-profile celebrity, and is so wonderfully embedded in her lovable world that some viewers didn’t unreasonably. He mistook her for a real person. She’s from our current world, and from the first moments we meet—photographed by someone’s phone on a private jet, interviewed by Adam Gopnik from New York, where we took a class at Juilliard—we live in her world: intense, nuanced, narcissistic, tense at the layers. . (In a bold and brilliant move, the movie plays the credits montage in full first.)
Tár is a world-building feat, especially for one that looks so much like our last timeline. Every year Field has taken him out of the movie business — his first since 2006’s Little Children — he seems to have come up with a theme that would derail a lesser film. Among them: excuses in the name of genius, the abolition of culture, Digital realism and social mediaAnd the #I alsothe perpetrator’s perspective, the isolated and rarefied world of the classical music elite.
It shouldn’t succeed, but the film does by being an undeniably relentless character study through Blanchett’s truly unmissable performance. It plays like a taut thriller, the villain being The Sins of Lydia Tarr. Her relationships with former female students are revealed, particularly the dwindling of a former student; her justifiable paranoia of the poisonous capacity of truth and her denial of white madness go above and beyond; The mix spoils both her career and her lively home life in Berlin with his wife Sharon (Nina Höss), a concertmaster and first violinist in Berlin, and their young daughter.
Field’s deft handling of the Tár’s breakup is one of the film’s primary pleasures. Even so, in a movie with this precision, there are several of them: Tár bespoke suits and imposing minimalist wardrobe by celebrity fashion designer Bina Daigeler; Production designer Marco Bittner-Ruser’s mantra is about cold, brutal Berlin. There’s the eerie score by Icelandic musician and composer Hildur Gudnadóttir, and the gorgeous sight of Blanchett, stick in hand, looms above the camera and on the verge of the orchestra’s thunderous sound.
But the film’s main achievement is its mentality, which assumes the audience’s ability to keep up. It is uncomfortable to sit with the full complexity of human beings, including those gifted, self-absorbed, narrow-minded, degrading ones who have undone their own emotional callousness. You may not feel it, but you will definitely think about it all.
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