TAR is the latest film by Todd Field who retired several years after directing Little Children in 2006.
TAR is giving a lot to talk about, especially in the hands of the most refined critics. It is a film that hides a very subtle beauty among its spaces, color, and music as the plot unfolds.
TAR has six nominations for the 2023 Oscar Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. And the one that sounds the most likely to win is Best Actress, since Cate Blanchett unquestionably gives her all to this character, who begins the film as cruel, and strong, only to be subjected to an internal struggle that causes her anguish and despair.
Tár is a film that contrasts two very important issues in the world of art and entertainment: the abuse of power and the culture of cancellation was recently praised by Martin Scorsese and deals with the life of Lydia Tár, considered one of the best living composers/conductors and the first female conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic who also teaches at what is considered the best music conservatory in the world, The Juilliard School in New York.
TAR, who has already won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, is the subject of much debate as Todd Field plays an image of power that keeps Lydia Tar on a cusp that has allowed her to be a tyrant in the field of teaching and personnel. A role that could well be played by a man as Lydia knows that her power is capable of leading the next principals to the best orchestras or that a recommendation can lead to the musical death of any of these up-and-comers. Lydia is a homosexual woman, who does not consider herself within any special group either as a lesbian or as a woman, and considers that these are more traits of her personality that have not blocked her career so far.
So she considers scholarships only for female musicians a waste and demands that everyone address her as a teacher and not as a teacher. She is humiliated and without empathy until the ghosts of remorse and guilt begin to haunt her.
Todd Field tackles in TAR what it is to have power, in a demanding field how is the music conservatory and as portrayed before even in Whiplash even cruel and delirious, but it does not stop there but is even an exploration of power when it is exercised daily, in roles and roles that already have predetermined superior or inferior dealings, when power can be used even for “positive ends” (like defending a little girl from bullying); about the effort, it takes to achieve it, and even about the power transactions involved in many of our daily acts in a friendship, a marriage or a working relationship.
It should be noted that this would be Cate Blanchett’s seventh Oscar nomination. The legendary actress, who has already won two statuettes for Best Actress and Supporting Actress in previous years, could make history by winning her third award.