2020s, actors, directors, Film Spotlight, music, photography, Virginia

Thinking of Tár on a Winter Walk

My mind wandered to Cate Blanchett‘s performance as the Maestro composer in the film Tár. Once again she proves how formidable she is. Will she win Best Actress?

Ruby, Jim, and I took a walk around a field by our Virginia home.

Tár. It’s a character-driven story catering to an audience that appreciates classical music and the competitive landscape of symphonies, players, and the power of the conductor. If you know little about this culture, then Tár opens the doors wide for all to see what they’re missing.

It does not matter that many of the assertions presented by Lydia Tár as the guest of honor at a prestigious interview were over my head. It was the powerful way Cate Blanchett delivered the lines with utter confidence, while seconds before, she can hardly suppress a panic attack. Cate reveals the inner turmoil and the composed exterior of her character flawlessly. You can’t take your eyes off Lydia. Cate jumps from the languages of German to English, the history of music, and the ins and outs of composers and conductors with panache.

The landscape feels English this morning.

A theme in the movie is the converging of gender roles. Lydia Tár tailor-made suits replicate the album covers of her heroes. She is manly, the father of her adopted daughter, and the husband to her partner. She reigns over her orchestra possessively. She is bored with sycophant males and male students who dare to disagree with her. She is condescending, supercilious, and merciless. She is a titan, a male.

Lydia is trapped in a world of her own making and suffers emotionally. She becomes aroused by the sensual, female cello player (Sophie Kauer), who wears green velvet boots and plays with a rare, childlike passion. She is unfettered by rules and plays superbly. Director Todd Field plays upon the visual symbolism of green for jealousy. His camera follows the boots from the bathroom to the stage. Lydia is inspired, and it begins her downfall. It’s a pivotal part of the film and Field’s best shots.

Trees rising to trees.

The unresolved relationships and perplexing ending keep me from loving the story, but the acting alone is worth a view. Lessons on how one conducts a symphony were my favorite part. Lydia is adept at showing you how it’s done as only her mentor could do it: Leonard Bernstein. Remember those Leonard Bernstein television programs? I bet Todd Field watched a hundred when he created his script. Field’s intellectual screenplay has a huge chance of winning in the Original Screenplay category.

What is certain is Cate Blanchett’s performance.

57 thoughts on “Thinking of Tár on a Winter Walk”

  1. The US is so interesting because as you travel north to south and east to west the type and character of the country changes significantly. I think the north east has more of the English character about it.


  2. First, great to read your post – I really like how to used a nice winter day walk to talk about the film…interestingly, we immediately had to check and confirm that this was a work of fiction, as it plays like a perfect bio=pic! It is assumed that Blanchett will win the acting award – it’s simply mesmerizing, a nd we found the film equally fascinating – oh, and once again, terrific photos!


  3. she will win the oscar. i think meryl streep has finally been dethroned, scrrenplay will go to banshees. actor to either colin farrel or ralph finnes. supporting actor BRENDAN GLEESON supporting actress ANGELA BASSETT
    everyhting everywhere all at once may win best picture, but it sould have been nominated and won best foregin film, otherwise banshee wins best picture anbd director

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought the very same thing. It’s time.
      I gotta watch Fiennes yet. I hope Colin wins it. I’ve always been a fan. I couldn’t stand Everywhere and Everything. Too crazy for my liking. I know I’m in the minority.
      I loved Banschee…


      1. Erverywhere want that crazy, it was a wonderful tribute to actress Michelle Yeoh. All those alternate universes were movies she has acted in, and the central theme was the burden of the husband who has a famous actress for a wife.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I regret not seeing this movie when it came out here. I’m going to look to see if Tar is still showing somewhere. Cate Blanchett is my favourite modern actress. I never get tired of seeing her in Blue Jasmine. It was interesting reading your observations of the film. Cheers Cindy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Matthew. Yes, I thought she did an exceptional job in Blue Jasmine. The role that won me over (her being the greatest working actress, sorry Meryl) was her performance as Bob Dylan. Amazing.


      1. Yeh, I thought she was good in ‘I’m Not There’. Blue Jasmine did it for me too. Although she was great in earlier films like when she played Katherine Hepburn in the Aviator and Notes of a Scandal & Elizabeth.


  5. Great post Cindy 🙂 I have to catch up with Tar 🙂 Is it really good? 🙂 Did you see Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of Pinnochio on Netflix? 🙂 That was a great one and speaking of which, Cate Blanchett voiced a monkey in that I kid you not 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, of course Cate voiced a monkey. Welcome back, John! How have you been? I am a fan of Guillermo del Toro’s style and attempts at filmmaking. He’s daring. I like that. I have not seen Pinocchio, and I love stop-motion animation. I’m a shoe-in to love it. I’ll watch it today…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am doing pretty good – thank you for asking Cindy 🙂 This past year, I was pretty busy putting together my top 10 favorite films of all-time list 🙂 This coincided with Sight & Sound’s Top greatest films poll that they conduct every 10 years 🙂 I posted about it in December and I give not only my 10 favorite of all-time, but also my top 10 American/English-Language ones and Foreign ones 🙂 In case you are interested, here is the link below 🙂

        My Thoughts on Sight & Sound’s 2022 Poll and My Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time


  6. You must have (nearly) caught all the seasons in your new home by now! The landscape does look very English.
    I haven’t seen Tár but will probably catch it on streaming now. Blanchett is definitely getting all the praise for this although I’ve heard very mixed reviews about the movie overall. However I like character driven plot lines so maybe this is a good pick for me. I loved Banshees of Inisherin. What a tremendous and heart breaking movie. Have you seen In Bruges? This is the previous offering from the three of them. Definitely worth a look if not.
    Great to see you posting again. Look forward to the next one.


    1. Hi Sarah! Yes, I loved In Bruges. Yay! I am glad you loved Banshees with me. I saw Tar once, and that was enough. But you are right, her performance should win. I am waiting for the SAG. That usually is a tell tale sign of the Oscars.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Cindy! I’m not as fond as TÁR the movie though I appreciate a lot of it, esp the music and Cate Blanchett’s outstanding performance. I’m rooting for Yeoh but I’d be totally ok if Blanchett wins.


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