Cate Blanchett confirms her immense talent in the film “TAR”

January 20, 2023203910 min
Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár in director Todd Field's TÁR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, a successful woman whose career is wrecked by a #MeToo controversy, in Tár, directed by Todd Field. Viewers argue over whether they feel sympathy for Tár as a victim of “cancel culture” or the villain who deserves what she gets. Blanchett won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture—Drama for her nuanced portrayal. At the film’s beginning, Lydia is the first woman to hold the position of chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has a beautiful daughter named Petra with her husband, the concertmaster Sharon (Nina Hoss) (Mila Bogojevic). Her passionate defense of Bach’s virtues to a student (Zethphan Smith-Gneist) who is unimpressed with Bach’s history of misogyny is put online after news of her alleged sexual misconduct toward a former protégé, Krista, becomes public. As a result, Lydia loses her job, Sharon dumps her, and her family pressures her to leave the country.

Tár delves further into the Hollywood #MeToo movement than films like She Said (2022). Tár is not afraid of ambiguity and deliberately obscures the truth. When the encounter with the student becomes viral, viewers can tell that the video is manipulated to take Lydia’s statements out of context because Tár withholds vital information regarding Lydia’s former relationship with Krista. As such, Cate Blanchett’s performance in Tár can be interpreted as a Rorschach test. Rather than settle the matter once and for all, Tár leaves viewers to draw their own conclusions regarding Lydia’s predicament in light of controversial issues like #MeToo and cancel culture.

Because Tár doesn’t choose sides, it can be interpreted in various ways.
An exposé claims that Krista is one of several young coworkers that Lydia groomed during her career, which leads to speculation that she took her own life. The evolution of the plot reminds me of Harvey Weinstein, the focus of She Said, another recent film with a #MeToo message. Similar to the public individuals she resembles, Lydia denies the claims. But in other sequences, she deletes her messages to Krista online and tells her aide Francesca (Noémie Merlant) to do the same. Field doesn’t give much of a clue about what Lydia is trying to conceal. Instead, he challenges viewers to assess a slight issue with limited knowledge.

Tár emphasizes the developing relationship between Lydia and Olga (Sophie Kauer), the cellist in the ensemble. Like Krista, Olga is a young and promising artist, and this fascinates Lydia. Provocatively, Field portrays Olga as Krista’s reflection, and the audience waits with bated breath to see if Lydia will follow in Krista’s immoral footsteps. Tár, like 2019’s Bombshell (about the Fox News harassment incident), examines power issues in the workplace, but Field favors opacity. Lydia shocks the audience with her mature behavior as she and Olga rehearse behind closed doors. But it turns out that Olga is the vicious one, always making fun of Lydia behind her back on social media. The fact that Lydia had a romantic history with Olga does not refute the claims, but it does provide a more complicated picture that makes it more challenging to ascertain the truth.

The Case for Viewing Tár’s Lydia as the Antagonist
Though the primary events that led to Lydia’s collapse may be debatable, Tár still provides a satisfactory conclusion because there are more incriminating instances to consider. Whether taking Sharon’s prescription without her knowledge or threatening Petra’s bully at school, Lydia is constantly taking the easy way out, breaking the rules, and stepping over the line. She surprises Sharon by not informing her about Krista and surprises viewers by not using the name Lydia but rather Linda. Because of this unexpected turn of events, everything in her life now seems staged.

While watching Cate Blanchett as Tár is bound to be a fun experience, the character of Lydia is less than desirable. Her awful behavior permeates even the most familiar elements of life, including family, going far beyond the #MeToo and canceling culture discussions. The term “accountability culture” best describes what Lydia has implemented. No of how one feels about her relationship with Krista or her interpretation of Bach, Lydia is still a monster, which is why Tár concludes with her directing a Monster Hunter orchestra concert in Southeast Asia, where she is finally humbled to reveal her true face.

Cate Blanchett Was Hired Because of How Complex Lydia Is One of those prestigious Golden Globe Awards.
Cate Blanchett’s performance as Lydia Tár has garnered much praise during awards season, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Film. There was a chance that a three-hour movie on classical music could be too arthouse even for cinema prizes, despite the acclaim for Blanchett’s performance. Blanchett, on the other hand, crafted a protagonist that could hold the attention of anyone. Blanchett portrays Lydia, played by the film’s main protagonist, as somewhat pretentious, generally pleasant, and entertaining throughout the whole first act of the film, including a lengthy on-stage interview with Adam Gopnik.

The darker side of Lydia’s erudition is beginning to surface as this effect carries over into her dressing down as a student, which only makes her more fascinating to watch. As Lydia, Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings’ Galadriel) compellingly balances charm and coldness throughout the film to show how she attracts younger musicians but may be capable of exploiting them. While Lydia’s exterior remains unbroken throughout Tar, Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of the character earns her a well-deserved Golden Globe for eloquently conveying the complexity of her character’s character arc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *