Performing a Masterclass of Acting…: Our Review of ‘TÁR’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - October 12, 2022
Performing a Masterclass of Acting…: Our Review of ‘TÁR’

The easiest way to describe Todd Field’s newest film would also be the easiest way to undersell the movie itself, and it is simply put as someone made a movie that feels inspired by J.K. Simmons’ role of Fletcher in Whiplash. On the surface, that can scratch what TÁR is about but the film dives into something so deep, personal, tragic, and rather horrifying that it would be a disservice to describe it as such.

The movie feels like a love letter to music, to students, to people suffering, to anguish, to heart, also while bringing audiences to their absolute breaking point, making them want to rip out their hair and just scream at the top of their lungs. This is in part due to the incredible performances, one, throughout TÁR. But there are not enough words in the English language to describe how powerful this film is and what it does to its audience.

The film focuses, almost solely, on Lydia Tar played by Cate Blanchett who gives arguably the best performance of her entire career. She is reflected throughout the film as one of the greatest composers/conductors currently living and accomplishes a major feat of being the first ever female mainstay conductor for a major German Orchestra. She also teaches her students to get them to try and reach the heights she has made herself, which is where things get a little tricky.

Being one of the best in your field is always going to lead to someone gunning for your head. But it also leaves you with a reputation. A reputation one cannot let falter, and in doing so there are some hard choices one must make to uphold. And some actions that, while may be done in the heat of the moment, certainly can look bad to onlookers, and cause tensions that certainly were not intended to be the outcome, or one would hope.

What makes TÁR the impactful movie it is, and has certainly become, is the way that Cate Blanchett takes the script written by Todd Field and becomes the character of Lydia Tar. We’ve seen legends of the craft do this before, especially with method acting, but there is something new that Blanchett brings to the table and its nearly indescribable. She becomes so integrated and lost within the role that it feels like she truly has embodied the life of this fictional character of Lydia Tar, and it has become Blanchett herself.

Blanchett has morphed into this character, her performance reflects this, as she is determined and driven and relentless to uphold the life she has created for herself. There’s a brand she has made from her name, and the persona she has unknowingly, or even knowingly, created for herself for better or worse. This performance by Blanchett puts her at the absolute top of her career. And it will be a career benchmark for herself. This further solidifies that she is one of the best actors working today.

Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár in director Todd Field’s TÁR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Focus Features

However, even with a career topping performance and an incredible script and direction, if the supporting cast of the film is nowhere to be found unless the film is a monologue, it is bound to falter. In the case of TÁR though, with the supporting cast consisting of three incredible actresses played by Nina Hoss as Sharon Goodnow, Noemie Merlant as Francesca and Sophie Kauer as Olga, there is not a single fault in TÁR. They all deliver remarkable performances that can keep the pace, intensity, and brilliance of Blanchett while letting her shine throughout the role still.

Everyone likes to be hyperbolic when it comes to films like this, stating it is going to be the next Oscar winner in XYZ category, and it is hard to argue when a film is just quite frankly this good. However, it will truly be hard to beat Blanchett’s performance, and her time to claim her third Oscar is here, and deservedly so. Delivering a performance so powerful, mesmerizing, and haunting is no easy task, but Blanchett does it so effortlessly it seems that elevates Tar to new heights that carry the audience on this deeply soul searching journey that is TÁR.

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My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep. Feel free to interact me at @Dubsreviews
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