Combustible Celluloid Review - Tár (2022), Todd Field, Todd Field, Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Mark Strong, Sylvia Flote, Adam Gopnik, Mila Bogojevic, Zethphan Smith-Gneist, Sydney Lemmon, Lydia Schamschula
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With: Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Mark Strong, Sylvia Flote, Adam Gopnik, Mila Bogojevic, Zethphan Smith-Gneist, Sydney Lemmon, Lydia Schamschula
Written by: Todd Field
Directed by: Todd Field
MPAA Rating: R for some language and brief nudity
Running Time: 158
Date: 10/28/2022
IMDB

Tár (2022)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Code of Conducting

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Todd Field's third feature film comes 16 years after his second, Little Children, and it's easy to see why it took so long. Tár springs from an exceedingly complex screenplay... not structurally, exactly, but in terms of detail. It's a kind of biopic about a person that doesn't exist, but unlike regular biopics that shrink and shorten and cut corners to get just the highlights of a person's life, Tár is built from the ground up. The character, Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), is a successful conductor who specializes in Mahler and works with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. She's an EGOT winner, has a new book coming out (Tár on Tár), and is preparing to make a live recording of Mahler's fifth, and most notoriously challenging, symphony. She is being stalked by a former student, and, despite being in a committed relationship and raising a daughter with Sharon (Nina Hoss), sets her sights on a pretty new cello player, Petra (Mila Bogojevic). She's also firing and shifting orchestra personnel around, and her loyal assistant Francesca (Noémie Merlant) is hoping for a promotion. Meanwhile, she's having trouble sleeping; she keeps hearing strange noises around her apartment. As you can imagine things come spectacularly unraveled (the final scene is a doozy). Lydia is rarely alone onscreen and is often talking to others, and her talk — her opinions and knowledge of music and the industry — is bracingly authentic. She is as fully-formed a character as Charles Foster Kane, a great and terrible figure that will not be easy to ever forget.

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