Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is a world renowned conductor/composer who is not only an EGOT winner, but the first ever female conductor of a prestigious orchestra in Berlin. While gearing up for her next concert, she finds herself involved in a scandal.
Cate Blanchett is one of the greatest actresses alive and much I've been hearing so much buzz for her performance in this. Plus, it's director Todd Field's long awaited return to the screen since 2006's excellent Little Children. I was pretty excited to see my theater was opening it.
Everything you heard about Blanchett is true. This is a tremendous performance. Not only does she look natural conducting, sound natural speaking German, and just overall has such a captivating presence on screen. It really stuck out to me the amount of dialogue she would have to memorize for this role. Lydia has so many long sequences, speeches, and monologues. I'd love to find a word count of how much of it was hers vs the other cast members. It just stuck out as a lot.
I can't say I've seen many films focused on a conductor so I found the way they talked about music very intriguing. The scandal I spoke of in the synopsis comes in slowly, and that's where I think the film struggles. Tár sits at a very hefty 2 and a half hour run time yet it still felt like there was a lot more they could've elaborated on. So much of it is left for us to interpret. Lydia clearly has issues with her family back home. Her assistant Francesca (Noémie Merlant) straight up leaves at one point and never comes back which I think was a hugely wasted opportunity for a confrontation. I left slightly unsatisfied. I wish they would've used their time a bit more wisely.
So is this for you? If you're a fan of Cate, absolutely. Even if you're not, it's a very well shot, well acted, well played film. Even with its short comings on the script. That might not even be as big of an issue for you as it was for me.