Renowned musician Lydia Tár is days away from recording the symphony that will elevate her career. However, Lydia's elaborate facade begins to unravel, revealing dirty secrets and the corrosive nature of power.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 158 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Music
  • Stars: Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Sylvia Flote, Vincent Riotta, Sam Douglas, Lucie Pohl, Vivian Full, Lee Sellars, Christoph Tomanek, Frank Röth, Diana Birenytė, André Röhner, Jessica Hansen, Murali Perumal, Sydney Lemmon, Ryan Reynolds
  • Director: Todd Field
  • Julesbro77 - 27 April 2024
    this is not just a great movie
    "Tár" is a very intelligent film featuring an outstanding main character portrayed masterfully by Cate Blanchett. It unfolds slowly, almost documentary-like at times, while at other moments, it transitions into a thriller reminiscent of Kubrick and Tarkovsky. In this era where people prioritize their identity above all else, "Tár" exposes the deviation of what was once a just movement to address and uncover racism, patriarchy, and power abuses.

    The film places a woman conductor at its center to deflect easy attacks on men and instead focus on power struggles within the art world (though it could apply elsewhere). Tár may be considered a "predator," but she is also an incredibly rare, passionate, and dedicated artist. So, how should we judge her? The film doesn't explicitly depict her alleged sexual encounters; instead, it allows viewers to imagine them and emphasizes the consequences on Tár and her environment.

    The film doesn't aim to condemn Tár, and neither do I. I believe that both parties involved in a transactional relationship bear responsibility for the outcome, even if one is younger and less powerful than the other. They both seek something from each other, whether it's love, sex, money, or success, and their interactions can range from pleasant to unpleasant.

    We don't see the perspective of the victim in the relationship (perhaps both are victims in the end), which would be important to consider. However, we do witness Tár experiencing a moment of conscience regarding how her power can coerce others into actions they don't want to take. It's subtle because I think she doesn't think of herself as a predator so this has to be right on her face.

    The ending, without giving away spoilers, genuinely left me speechless, as it invites multiple interpretations. Yet, I'm not sure if any interpretation is definitively correct, and I've noticed that other viewers are just as puzzled as I am.
  • xnicofingerx - 12 January 2024
    Nico on Tár
    Sit down, pay attention, concentrate and let go at the same time. What follows is a fortunately long 2.5 hours full of appealing images, words and sounds. And alongside the cinematic highs, the basic theme of human lows.

    Basic knowledge of music, classical music, can be helpful, but is not necessary, everything is transferred in an understandable way. I don't think there's anyone who can't find something emotionally or spiritually inspiring here, or who is simply moved. So there is a lot of potential for revisiting, including new discoveries.

    The central theme is one that surrounds us every day, possibly affecting us as victims or perpetrators. Every social position means more or less power and every person in that position has personal interests. The crucial thing, and therefore the quality of the person for their vocation, is to clearly separate the two. It is not power that corrupts, but character. No rise and fall story here, just fall.

    Keyword Cate Blanchett. A fantastic performance, not just in terms of the on-screen presentation of her character. What an immense amount of professional preparation the role must have taken and then this farce at the Oscars. Nothing against Michelle Yeoh, but please what? Well, a populist farce, more and more every year.
  • fabri-sebastien - 13 January 2023
    Quite the build up for such a let down at the end
    + : Interesting take on a toxic type of character with high intelligence and realistic situations.

    Overall good acting.

    • : "What was the point?" feeling when you leavethe movie.

    A third of the scenes could have been cut off and you'd still "get" the main charachter

    Frustrating that after taking 2h to develop plot lines the vast majority of them is unused for the last part of the film. I wanted to see and experience the fall from grace and revenge from the people she hurt. I could only see glimpse of it, quite the let down.

    Some dialogs seemed unnatural because of the overly complicated level of english used. I understand that they want to show how this culture uses literacy as a weapon however I doubt this is realistic (but I'm not a native english speaker)
  • bluvortex-57886 - 5 January 2023
    Much genius, but has flaws
    I see that this film has elicited much comment, so allow me to throw in my two cents.

    Firstly, Cate Blanchett's acting performance puts her in a league of her own. Like in Olympic diving, this role had a very high degree of difficulty, and she nailed it. (And I say this shortly after watching another Australian actress come out with a tour de force performance.)

    I don't know that much about music (especially Classical), so I enjoyed all the talk about interpreting a score and understanding the intentions of a composer.

    On the negative side, Lydia's sin(s) could have been revealed more fully, if not for clarity, then for more gravitas.

    I didn't understand the unexplained noises in Lydia's hears, or the cuts on her face, or why picking a particular masseuse was so traumatic.

    Also didn't understand the final scene where she is conducting a small orchestra in a third world country. Is this how her career plays out?

    And the sci-fi costumes of the audience must have some meaning. We are left to imagine what that is.

    For the most part, the long running time did not bother me, until things got very vague in the end.
  • TheVictoriousV - 1 January 2023
    Feasibly Blanchett's finest (2022 list excerpt)
    Lydia Tár has been hailed as one of the best movie characters of the year.

    Some people were even made to believe that there exists a real Lydia Tár and that she really holds the commendable honor of being the first lesbian conductor at the Berlin Philharmoniker -- and also that she really is the predatory, manipulative monster that the stories tell of. When I said "best movie character", let's just say I wasn't strictly praising the personality.

    Indeed she is an unsettling creature, yet also compelling; one who -- like the band instructor in Whiplash -- bears kernels of truth. ("If Bach's talents can be reduced to his gender, birth country, religion, sexuality, and so on, then so can yours" she instructs a Gen-Z pupil who's just announced that "cis white male composers" just aren't "his thing" anymore.)

    She's played flawlessly by Cate Blanchett, who supplies some of the most memorable and (when she's not being impressively unnerving) downright hilarious line deliveries of the entire year. Her winning the Oscar next year would be super predictable, but no less well-deserved.

    Todd Field's meticulous direction and pitch-perfect compositions (an inevitable term to use in a cheeky manner whilst reviewing a film about conducting) have yielded comparisons to Haneke and Kubrick alike. But Slate writer Dan Kois, who argues that the final third is either a paranoid nightmare or an excursion into the supernatural (using highly convincing and bone-chilling textual evidence), felt that the film ultimately resembles Tarkovsky's Stalker (1979) more than anything else.

    TÁR is simply a magnificent film and I'm glad VOD allowed me to see it before this recap (and yes, I do have access to the caliber of a system that a picture like this deserves).
  • annijatrusele - 28 December 2022
    a lesbian queen finds her next victim
    Very nice, definitely a must watch.

    "If you're here, then you already know who she is, and that is one of the most important musical figures of our time. Lydia Tár is many things." Cate Blanchett's performance deserves an Oscar, her body language and movements tell's us more about her character than words ever could. She makes the audience believe that they are watching a biography of a real person, but in truth everything is a performance. Cate Blanchett makes the time fly by. Even if you don't know that much about classical music or conducting it, you will still be able to enjoy this movie.

    Would have been a ten if the ending was different.
  • kikideester - 19 December 2022
    So close to walking out
    So as much as I try to find something wonderful in every film I see, I just can't with this.

    I'd give it a higher score if it hadn't been for the fact that this is the same writer/director who created Little Children and In the Bedroom clearly has an understanding of structure, pace, character arcs and development- so there's no excuse for this.

    I knew I was in trouble when the audience is forced to sit through 10 minutes of credits, starting at what is usually the back end, at the front of the film. I get where he's going "these people count too so sit your butt down and read who was the prop master in the second unit in Berlin". Sorry, we really don't care. That's why they go at the end.

    The rest was downhill from there.

    Our protagonist Lydia Tar is a self-indulgent bore. And for a film that's a character study (I guess) I never felt like I knew her or even wanted to know her.

    There were a ton threads that went nowhere and countless scenes talking about music but not much music. Which felt like the writer was talking down to us uncultured dummies.

    Cate Blanchet is a miracle worker but I actually felt her work in this was forced and inorganic- like she was trying on a suit that didn't really fit.

    But the worst for me was when something (anything) finally happened it was followed by scene after disjointed scene where NOTHING happens AGAIN. So much so, that I actually began to get irritable when SOMETHING happened because I knew it wouldn't go anywhere and I'd have to endure another round of pretentious talking and doing nothing scenes. Like a never ending loop of "yay! Something happened!" Follows by a valley of emptiness.

    Sadly, I, like another reviewer, googled the running time in the theatre. Then sent a text to my friend sitting next to me saying "Should we go? It's almost 3 friggin hours long?" Of which he wrote back "I can't. I dropped my wallet under the seat. Gotta wait for the lights to come on." Yup. It's that bad.
  • CinemaClown - 8 December 2022
    One Of The Best Character Studies In Recent Years
    Championed by a thunderous performance from one of the most beautiful, talented & acclaimed actors of our time, Tár is a thoroughly engrossing character study of a composer-conductor and depicts her life & downfall in the international world of classical music. Crafted with an intelligent eye and told with deft composure, the film serves as a fascinating examination of art, artist, fame, power & abuse.

    Written & directed by Todd Field, this is my first stint with his works and the attention to not only cinematic details but also character nuances is an element that definitely stands out. Field is as patient here as he is precise and builds a captivating world around his protagonist in a way that only makes us want to invest in it. And by capturing the mundane & essential with equal finesse, he bestows Lydia Tár with a tangible personality.

    But the film lives & breathes by the towering character at its centre and Cate Blanchett gives her all to portray the eponymous figure from inside out. It is an act that anchors the story as expertly as it overshadows everything else. And it's a role that allows Blanchett to flex her acting prowess to full measure. The long takes, steady camerawork, skilful editing, polished production design & Hildur Guðnadóttir's music uplift it further but this is Blanchett's show all the way.

    Overall, Tár is one of the best all-round films to surface this year and scores high marks in every filmmaking aspect. A riveting portrait of a powerful figure whose meticulously constructed world comes crashing down, Field's latest is impressive & immersive in ways not many stories manage to and the fact that it made many go looking for more information on Lydia Tár as if she is a real person proves what an outstanding job the cast & crew have done here. Strongly recommended.
  • cumuluss - 29 November 2022
    Yes, Cate Blanchett is good, but.....
    I understand that the film is artistic and that it requires a special audience that enjoys long scenes where the main character just sits and thinks for couple of minutes, but really, does it have to be that way? Does the film have to be stretched to 2 hours and 38 minutes to get the label of art? Does that length make cinephiles defend it and give it a high rating?

    Yes, Cate Blanchett is very good here and if it wasn't for her the film would have gotten an even lower rating from me, but then again the role was written for her personally, given her personality and acting style (just to be clear, I don't think she's Lydia Tar in real life, but it was easier for her to give life to character because the script was written for her).

    As for the story itself, I don't think that Egoism, especially in that branch of work, is such a big sin. What Lydia Tar did in the story, people in her position do every day. I feel that by the end of the film, she is somehow punished (according to some people, deservedly so), but I dont judge her. I met similar people in my life with that kind of personality and I understand that is a must for person that have such a high position, following all that awards and successes in professional life.

    At the beginning, the film is so full of technical terms that most of us (the very large majority of us who do not belong to classical music world and know nothing about it) are completely lost.

    The only scene that works is the Julliard scene, but only because such a topic is currently very active. Not only does she win the discussion with good arguments, she is also very patient with him, trying with an intellectual talk (not shouting our arguing in a bad way) to get him to think about art from a different angle.

    Also I didn't like the ending of the movie too much. First, I think that the conditions in Asia are much better now than in Europe or the USA as far as classical music is concerned. I think that despite the scandals, they would accept her with all the luxury that accompanies such a successful maestro. Watching an earlier documentary about Ennio Morricone and how he was embarrassed to do film scores I can imagine that Lydia Tar felt she was degraded by working on game scores. But the truth is that it is a very rich industry that earns far more than classical and easily bring equally fame. Is she really being punished? I doubt.

    The depiction of Asia is really unnecessary and degrading. At the beginning of the film we learn that she spent a long time in the wilderness studying indigenous music, and then at the end we see that she is uncomfortable with life in Asia. Why should be? Its a bit of a plot hole.
  • bmccarthy-41135 - 22 November 2022
    FOUR STARS only for the great performance by Cate Blanchett, but otherwise this film left me angry, confused, and annoyed.

    First off, I am a lifelong lover of classical music and opera, especially the 18th and 19th centuries so I was expecting a lush and full soundtrack. All we got we snippets and a lot of past and contemporary name-dropping. I wonder if Barenboim is pissed?

    The end credits at the top of the film? Not sure how long they went on (forever!) but my question is WHY? I am normally a person who watches the credits at home or in the theatre. Weirdly, I find credit watching respectful even though no one involved knows I am being respectful. Plus there is almost always a song I want to find the title of or a composer's name or an actor's name whose face was familiar but I could not place. But no one should be forced to sit through them. So, to be honest, I was annoyed before the film got started.

    Confusing to me were all the minute and mundane noises Lydia keeps hearing that rob her of her sleep. What was all that about? What was the point?

    What upset me the most was the old stereotype "Misunderstood Mad Genius" got trotted out once again-I am so tired of this trope. However, at least we know lesbians can be mad geniuses as well! Really, there was nothing to like about Lydia-nothing. She seemed to love no one but herself, Mahler, and Lenny-and it is always easier to love the dead. Lydia gave me nothing to root for because she was empty, selfish, and sad, and in the end a pointless story.