TAR – Rated R

2 hrs and 38 mins


STARRING:  Cate Blanchett, Neomie Melant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Mark Strong and Mila Bogojevic

As one of the most transformative actors of our generation heads back to the screen, everything about this new film, TAR, hinges on yet another fabulous performance by Cate Blanchett…

Venturing into the world of Western classical music, we enter the life of conductor and composer Maestro Lydia Tar (Cate Blanchett) one of the greatest living conductors of our time, fixated on her most transformative performance yet…

As the pressures of Lydia’s career seem to consume her every waking moment, it seems that her relationship with lead violinist and lover Sharon (Nina Hoss) is simmering to a slow boil, whether it be because the realities of raising their daughter Petra (Mila Bogojevic) together is slowing down their love life, or the fact that new cellist Olga Metkina (Sophie Kauer) has just entered the orchestra, hoping to learn from “the master”, and this incredibly talented youngster, has caught Lydia’s eye…

As the stress of conducting the perfect performance consumes almost every waking hour of Lydia’s life, it seems a former students issues with Tar are creeping back into her life too, and neither her incessant running, and her new love interest, can seem to remove the angst from striving for perfection, that is so deeply rooted in her soul…

Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár in director Todd Field’s TÁR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Sophie Kauer stars as Olga Metkina in director Todd Field’s TÁR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Now, as TAR’s world seems to be spinning out of control with no end in sight, the only stabilizing factor through it all seems to be her daughter Petra, who ‘s unwavering affection, and constant consoling, may be the only true reality presently in Lydia’s life…

I give TAR a rating of 2 out of 5 stars:  Creatively challenging from beginning to end, TAR takes us into a world of classical music, that few of us have ever seen before.  Blanchett gives another incredible performance as the masterful conductor and manipulator Lydia Tar, and without beating around the bush, this film literally hinges on this incredible actors performance throughout all of its 2 hrs and 38 mins worth.  But even with Blanchett’s exceptional performance playing out, TAR has quite a few pitfalls along the way too, which is why it didn’t play out in becoming the incredible film, that Blanchett’s performance should have brought to the screen.  First off, I was very excited to be immersed in the world of classical music, but didn’t realize that I was going to need to have my cell phone ready to look up quite a few terms that were thrown out through the course of this film.  At first is was just a little annoying, not totally understanding the dialogue,  but as TAR plays out, I decided that I should have taken a crash course in conductor/orchestra terminology, before I even walked into the theater.  I was also saddened too by the fact that this film manages to go in lots of directions in its storyline…that literally manage to stall, and go no where.  Whether it’s the incessant running scenes, or the orchestra staff changes, or literally the bizarre ending that once again, seems obscure at best, TAR left me feeling confused, and discontented by the time i reached its bitter end.  The only reason that I made it through this very long film, was Blanchett’s performance, as she brings the master of total madness to life, with the smae convictions that she brings to each character she creates.  Even the beautiful scenery at the end of this complex, and not very entertaining film, couldn’t save me from giving TAR just a run of the mill, mediocre rating.  It always saddens me when I want a film to WOW me, especially when it has one of my favorite actors as the lead, but TAR just seems to fizzle out from becoming the incredible film, it most certainly should have been…

Kathy Kaiser

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s