TÁR is a film written, produced, and directed by Todd Field.
TÁR follows Lydia Tár, a world-famous conductor who is leading a German Orchestra. The film begins with Lydia at the peak of her career, with the upcoming release of her book and her preparation for a live performance. As time progresses, Lydia’s life crumbles as a result of her abuse of power.
The film is mostly set in Berlin and New York, with Lydia ultimately ending in a Southeast Asian country. What I found especially significant, were the moments when we see Lydia alone, surrounded by empty environments. The film has a very cold palette, which perfectly sets the tone for the film and is representative of Lydia as a person.
The film is centered on Lydia played by Cate Blanchett, who was really convincing as a self-destructive and troubled artist. You could really see a change in her character, who started off on top of the world, that ultimately breaks and becomes almost unhinged. Likewise, the rest of the cast also played their characters very convincingly. It was interesting seeing Lydia’s interactions with the rest of the characters, who she mainly treated with disrespect and arrogance.
I really enjoyed TÁR. At first, it can be hard to follow all of the musical jargon, and the pacing is a bit slow the first hour. However, once it picks up it doesn’t stop. The writing and acting were so convincing, I left the film thinking that Lydia Tár was an actual person. Obviously, this film is about the abuse of power, but I appreciate that it wasn’t portrayed in a preachy manner. TÁR felt realistic and believable.