If laughing and screaming at a killer doll flick isn’t your idea of a night worth watching, you might like the serious themes and thick dialogue of this uncompromising drama.
Director Todd Field signals his art house’s intentions by opening with what is traditionally (and for good reason) called the end credits. Typically, if he pays for a movie ticket, he expects to choose between finding out which company catered on set or taking his next bus home.
This movie is clearly not interested in offering anyone an easy ride.
After those annoying acknowledgments, we finally meet Blanchett’s Lydia Tár as she discusses her craft in an onstage interview. She is the first female conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and is preparing to “partner with Mahler in her fifth”.
As you talk about your “ethnographic fieldwork in the Amazon,” you might be wondering what everyone on the next screen is laughing about. But while often pretentious and frequently infuriating, Tár (even writing the accent on that letter A has hurt me) could slowly work its way under your skin.
Blanchett’s cocky director may be gearing up for the biggest performance of her career, but little by little, cracks are opening up in her seemingly glamorous life.
Trouble is brewing for this “u-Haul lesbian” (me neither) who is accused of taking advantage of young trainees. One of them seems to be following her, another has just committed suicide and Tár suspects that someone is moving things in the house that she shares with her violinist partner (Nina Hoss).
With M3GAN, we are never in doubt about what kind of movie we are watching, but Tár keeps us guessing. It’s a tense thriller, a riveting character study, and a thoughtful study of cancel culture.
Ultimately, it’s Blanchett who carries this film with a wonderfully nuanced and uncomfortably likeable performance.
- Tár, (Cert15), Already in theaters
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