New from Tarek Fayoumi on Movies with Tarek: TAR Review

The tempo is strong, there is non-stop excitement, and Cate Blanchett’s performance in TAR will blow her audience out of the water. TAR is a work of art that displays brilliance on many levels.

In TAR, Blanchett is Lydia TAR, a composer-conductor and first-ever female director of an important German Orchestra. With a focus on Western classical music, she has a ton of projects and new evolving talent to be shown to the world. She has an assistant named Francesca (played by Noemie Merlant), and a partner Sharon Goodnow (played by Nina Hoss), and she feels her successful life is never going away. Slowly though, issues begin to arise as her ego takes over her. She begins to reject evolving talent among the musicians. The social media about her begins to show some red flags, and she feels Francesca is going behind her back. Regardless, TAR, the accomplished composer and musician, does not stop to deal with her problems. She keeps going, and Blanchett’s performance takes the film to new levels.

The tensions in TAR are harsh, and the problems are realistic. TAR always needs be the hero. She never lets anyone in to discuss her errors or the other talents around her. It is all about her. And her self-absorbed mindset carries irreparable consequences, including an emerging musician committing suicide.

I was astounded by the writing of TAR. Blanchett’s character is honest, if flawed. The film shows how cutthroat many artists can become, and how those who are accomplished become more into their own accomplishments than supporting others. The question of the film is whether TAR’s career is on the line and, sadly, it may be. Her defense to being fired centers on her background, her fan base, her awards, and her tenure track. But will this be enough?

Director Todd Field knows his approach to TAR, displaying the actors’ knowledge, craft, and their egos. Blanchett’s role has a massive ego. Her performance is enthralling and she is amazingly concise with her tone of voice and speech in the film. TAR is directed with marvelous vision and, again, Blanchett’s performance is astonishing. TAR may be the best film of the year. It is visionary and daring, and I loved it. Four stars for TAR.

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