“Tár” (Amazon$$)

If you are looking for a feel good distraction or maybe a nice something to watch as a Valentine’s Day treat, do not include Tár among your choices. But if you are in the mood for a provocative inquiry into sex, power, gender, and generational clash, this is your kind of film. Don’t worry about being confused a bit, you aren’t the only one, but really, it doesn’t matter because it all seems pretty clear by the end. Cate Blanchett plays a brilliant and narcissistic conductor who abuses her power. I could go on and on about the performances, the sets, the “plot” such as it is, but I won’t. Rather, I am going to let one of my favorite writers Zadie Smith do the work today. I am attaching a link to her incisive discussion of Tár in the “New York Review of Books.” Caveat: It’s long (14 pages minus some good illustrations) and detailed but I find it extraordinarily perceptive–makes me want to watch it again.


  1. I had read the Smith NYRB piece which I found insightful but a tad long and long-winded. But it is worth a read….Tar is one of our favorite movies of 2022! We went back and saw it again since there is a lot of dialogue and rmusical eferences we wanted to savor. My husband Wayne knows classical music and opera very well and he really loved immersing himself, as did i, in a world we rarely get to see. It is certainly timely with people who get “cancelled” (sorry if you dislike that word but I find it useful) due to their own hubris and sexual misadventures.
    Blanchette gives a stunning, and I mean that word, performance.


  2. Thanks for posting. Yes, Zadie goes off on tangents, but I don’t think it was an overly long review. Tar deserves it. Despite being over two and a half hours long, it was very compelling and Cate Blanchett is astonishing. It raised so many controversial issues and questions, it’s hard to list them.
    Suggest you watch it with others. Three of us watched it and kept having to stop to discuss what was happening.


  3. Susan, thanks for the link to the Zadie Smith article. It made me rethink some things about the film, which I thought was one of the best films os 2022.


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