The film Tár is dark but overpowering

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Cate Blanchett (Tár) is the victim of a charming young Russian cellist Sophie Kauer

We all came out of the theater saying that Cate Blanchett was going to win the Oscar for best actress. She is so amazing in this film where she plays Lydia Tár, a prodigious and tough music conductor, that one comes out obsessed by her meanness and her perversity. She is in every image o the movie for 2 hours 38 mns and on does not tire of seeing her. It is definitely a women’s movie with the main lesbian couple and side parts played by Noémie Merlant (her assistant) and Sophie Kauer a clever Russian cellist.

Noémie Merlant is the French assistant who eventually betrays her

She treats her assistant the same way that the Vogue editor treats hers in The Devil wears Prada and deals abruptly with the “woke” student she teaches at Julliard. She lives with a partner (Nina Hoss) who is also first violinist in her orchestra, the Berliner Philarmoniker (which is playing at TCE in Paris at the moment!), and develops a reputation of abusing young women who admire her. It takes quite a while to realize that little by little she is destroying herself with too many pills and too much egotism.

Sophie Kauer is the last minute surprise which deregulates Tár’s life

There are many hilarious scenes and even more dramatic ones, including one of her threatening a little girl at school who is nasty to her partner’s daughter. Her meanness becomes more and more subtle and obvious, and of course she ends up entirely destroyed. But the fall is very slow.

Don’t miss this film if you have not seen it yet (it came out in the States in 2022) but go with friends because it is pretty tough.

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One Comment on “The film Tár is dark but overpowering”

  1. Well Laure, I am very interested to read your comments on this. I saw the film last weekend with a group of friends, including a concert cellist (Elgar a speciality !) and a conductor/oboist. We were unanimous – Blanchett is a genius, but the film is far, far too long . Somewhere in the 2h37 minutes there is probably an hour of absolute brilliant dialogue and performance. You’ve seen more plot to it than we did, and there were loads of distractions, like the bleeps that apparently were meant to have emanated from the flat of the dying woman next door . I thought the Juilliard scene was brilliant and very close to the wire. I know we live in times when we have to tread carefully in the culture wars, but I doubt that I would have been treated any better had I said to Harold Bloom at Yale that Shakespeare had nothing to say to me because he was white, pale, male, stale and cis ! I think, though that the mark of a good film has to be the quality and intensity of the discussion it generates. And this one certainly manages that. See it !

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