Sunday 26 February 2023

Movie Review: Tár (2022)

Genre: Drama
Director: Todd Field
Starring: Cate Blanchett
Running Time: 158 minutes

Synopsis: Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is one of the world's most admired orchestra conductors, now in charge of the Berlin Philharmonic. Her orbit includes wife and first violin Sharon (Nina Hoss), daughter Petra, personal assistant and aspiring conductor Francesca (Noémie Merlant), assistant conductor Sebastian, and investment banker and amateur conductor Eliot (Mark Strong). Lydia is arrogant, confident, blunt, ruthless, and manipulative, with an eye for spotting - and perhaps romantically pursuing - young talent. In an era of heightened political correctness and new behavioural norms, cracks start to appear in her perfect life.

What Works Well: Writer, director and co-producer Todd Field explores the dizzying heights and dangerous pitfalls of upper crust modern celebrity culture. The gay female protagonist ticks many qualification boxes for universal adoration, but her hard driving smugness carries the seeds of ruin when accusations equal guilt. The script embraces translucency, hinting at rather than defining Tár's darker elements. Cate Blanchett delivers a bravado performance, with only occasional forays into theatricality, while cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister uses fluid, long takes to supplement the intellectual milieu.

What Does Not Work As Well: Indigestible levels of pretentiousness are tested with the front-loaded credits, the verbose and haughty dialogue filled with arcane references, and the ridiculous length cluttered with inconsequential scenes.

Conclusion: A curated study of character and culture, infused with pomposity.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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