Director: Todd Field
I knew very little about Tár (2022) when I put the film on. During it's initial limited release, the movie received resounding critical acclaim, but has since had dismal box office. That alone is worth studying - box office can only tell us so much. Maybe it will pick up as a streaming offering. I had actually wanted to see it on the big screen and with better sound, but the runtime and this week's weather made it far easier to just watch at home - so I may be the demographic theaters are panicking about. We're fine with these movies, but we also are okay with waiting a couple of months to just watch them from our couches.
In the end, I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on the movie, regarding Cate Blanchett's as EGOT composer, conductor, writer, etc... Lydia Tár. I'll need to think about it some more.
The film exists squarely in worlds with which I have no familiarity - the world of symphonies, of composition, of Berlin and New York, of the small world of classical music with it's all too rare stars. It should all seem very far away, and at times - it does. This could have been a movie about a writer of books, or a movie star or nearly anything else. But the choice is intentional. This is an alien world, recognized to require excellence just to get in the door. We can't imagine what it takes to excel, how one walks through space when one has been chosen to lead the world's best symphonies. What they do during the day, how all of this works.
That said - the movie doesn't obfuscate what is occurring - and it's a testament to the writing, directing and performances that this world and its arcane (archaic?) rules are so clear. And that system running up against extremely modern concerns and calls for responsibility.