Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is one of the world’s most talented composer-conductors and is the first female Conductor of a major German orchestra. For Tár, nothing in life could be better; she is living a life that brings her joy and fulfilment. Her passion and skills are visible to the world and keep her content and balanced, which in return means peace for her mind and her family. However, certain aspects surrounding Tár make her world unbalanced and unsteady. Some of these matters force Tár to look back at the past and rethink her choices, which could significantly impact her position, reputation and credibility. Can Tár resolve her private matters and maintain control?
For those unaware, Tár is a drama film that follows a fictional character and isn’t based on a true story. That being said, given the story and performances, I can understand why audiences going into this film could be convinced that everything occurring on-screen was based on a real story, especially given the outstanding and ovation-worthy performance from actress Cate Blanchett.
Like many scores from Mahler, this is Cate Blanchett’s masterpiece. Here, Cate Blanchett is extraordinarily believable and easily convinces audiences that she is, in fact, a high-end conductor with an education and appreciation of music that exceeds many around her. One aspect I loved experiencing is when Tár makes choices that seem cruel and harsh, and yet, I still find myself liking her. It’s an experience that’s memorable and extremely different.
Pacing for the vast majority is excellent, and the film begins strongly with Tár being interviewed. Viewers are instantly thrown into Tár’s world, gaining an understanding of the lead within moments. From this, the plot goes in an unpredictable and unexpected direction as Tár’s world becomes shaken dramatically. While slow-paced, I found myself engaged thanks to the fantastic acting from Cate Blanchett, who makes it impossible to look away. There is always something occurring, and the slow-building tension is an impressive factor. For those who love soundtracks, you’ll also be impressed here. Music is a powerful tool in the film, and Hildur Guðndóttir’s music is composed with finesse.
Overall, I felt various emotions after seeing this film, including amazement, fascination and surprise by the plot and the surprisingly deep journey that audiences go on. Just like Mozart’s Requiem, this is a masterpiece from Cate Blanchett. Cate Blanchett displays an incredible and believable transformation, and it’s impossible for viewers to take their eyes off Tár even when we see her in cruel and harsh moments. The entire plot is unpredictable and successfully builds tension wonderfully towards a conclusion that’s impossible to see coming. The musical aspects are powerful, impacting and admirable whenever they appear. Tár is quite a cinematic experience filled with an outstanding leading performance, drama and wonder. Tár (2022) is Available in Australian Cinemas from January 26th.