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TAR

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
26 Jan 2023
Rating
To Be Advised
Runtime
158 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Drama, Thriller
Director
Todd Field
Cast
Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Mark Strong
Synopsis
From producer-writer-director Todd Field comes TÁR, starring Cate Blanchett as the iconic musician Lydia Tár. TÁR examines the changing nature of power, its impact and durability in our modern world.
Reviews
By InCinemas  25 Jan 2023
Cate Blanchett stuns in this riveting psychological drama.
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Written and directed by Todd Field, Tár charts the downfall of fictional composer and conductor Lydia Tár. Led by a strong performance from Cate Blanchett, the film also stars Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong.

The tone of the film is set from the get-go when it unconventionally begins with a credit roll and hauntingly beautiful orchestral music that encapsulates any room in which the film is viewed in. This in itself is a confident power move, like a Venus flytrap luring its prey.

Blanchett has given many a stellar performance throughout her career and her time as Lydia Tár is no exception. The committed actress exchanges her life for Lydia’s, fully embodying the character in all manners and aspects–from the way she moves to the way she talks and the things she says–giving one of the most transformational performances from pure talent alone.

Trust Blanchett to possess the sheer power to bring both men and women to their knees, especially with that deep, clear voice and commanding presence of hers. It’s hard to imagine anyone but her to tackle a character as dimensional as Lydia. A pianist, ethnomusicologist, composer, and the first female chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, she is a multi-talented queen of her scene–a woman of great power who’s unafraid to threaten children and chastise others’ personal opinions.

Following Lydia’s journey as she prepares for her upcoming live recording of Mahler's Fifth Symphony and new book Tár on Tár, she is aided by her personal assisant Francesca (Merlant) and Sharon (Hoss), her wife and concertmaster. 

Before a blind audition, Lydia encounters young Russian cellist, Olga Metkina (Kauer). An instant attraction towards the girl sees Lydia ensuring Olga a spot on the orchestra to secure her favours. Her blatant favouritism does not go unnoticed by the rest of the orchestra.

Tár also explores Lydia's past when a former member of her conducting fellowship program, Krista Taylor, gradually harasses her through emails sent to Francesca. It is implied that Lydia and Krista were in a transactional relationship and when it soured, Lydia abused her position of authority to have Krista blacklisted from various orchestras, leaving the latter to take her own life.

Both instances cause a strain in Lydia’s relationships with her wife and assistant. The controversy surrounding her sees her removed as the conductor of the live recording of Mahler's Fifth and leaves ger spiralling into depression at the downfall of her life and career.

The psychological drama is a new entry in the recent slew of films post-Me Too Movement and though it isn’t a complete reinvention of the subgenre, the gender flip choice sets it apart from the pack, demonstrating how power can blind both man and woman.

Field’s meticulous direction and sharp-witted dialogues are perfectly articulated and executed. It demands attention and creates an atmosphere of quiet magnificence that linger throughout the film’s 158-minute runtime. 

Tár is a brilliant display of descent into madness. It’s easy to mistake Lydia Tár for a real person, and that speaks volumes for Field’s masterpiece and Blanchett's superb display of her craft. 
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