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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Tár (2022)

The inherent issue with providing a masterpiece performance is that this is in danger of overshadowing the rest of the production. Employing a stellar actor to play the part of a stellar conductor (even a fictional one, despite the biopic label) goes some way to authenticating the subject matter, but in a field of artistic creativity as featured here, this becomes less about the message, instead, one stellar persons perception of it.

Never have I been so led by my nose ring into a field I have little or no right or compulsion to even stand in. If conducting is as personal as Lydia claims, how can this hope to make any sense to anyone but herself? This is fringe artistic impression at its most argumentative. Some might even say this is barely art at all, just bloated, narcissistic opinion.

Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, world famous (had never heard of her, because she's not real), lauded and notorious conductor. And despite not knowing the fabricated real life Lydia, she does this with such profound acting talent as to make you feel like she has a rigid and hugely encompassing grasp on the character that she literally has no frame of reference for. The ability to quote clichés in a variety of languages that are not your own is merely pretentious, not impressive. Never let it be said of course, that Blanchett is anything other than frighteningly good at what she does.

There are incidental leanings to misogyny, of course, despite there never being so much as a grumble from the conducting community about equality of opportunity, but something tells me that this pointedly demographic driven audience would pick up on this, if it wasn't at least highlighted, even tangentially.

Very little of note takes place in the first hour, save for the slightest, nuanced semblance of forthcoming events, whispered by the unusual. Aside from this, the plot is perambulatory with Field showing an impressive handle on his pacing and Blanchett developing Lydia's arc with a fair degree of panache at times and delicate deft touches at others.

The rest is overlong and feels it. The remainder of the film nudges the audience to that message Peter Parker's Uncle had already conveyed about power and responsibility. There are numerous threads left unceremoniously dangling, like novel vignettes cast aside for the real meat, yet their continued existence is open to interpretation, though personally like our protagonist here, if she truly is one, if you don't like it, they don't care.


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