One of the general resolutions I ended up making spontaneously is to diversify my media diet. One aspect of this is to watch more movies. This is the first movie I watched this year as part of that resolution.
Some spoilers ahead.
At first glance, the run time of two and a half hours was intimidating. One of the reason I never particularly got into movies is I found it hard to keep my attention focused on one of them for more than an hour or so. So the movie has to be really good to keep my attention for anything longer than that. A good movie can make two or even three hours go by quickly while on the other hand a bad one feels like it goes on forever.
So was TÁR good or bad? Did it keep my attention throughout the entire runtime? Yes, it was good and yes it kept my attention throughout the entire runtime. It is extremely good. I have been thinking about it ever since I watched it. I watched the review on the 14th of January and I am writing this review on the 28th. It took me two weeks to digest this one and /still/ do not understand the subtleties of some of the scenes.
Everything about TÁR is exceedingly well crafted. Cate Blanchett’s performance as Lydia Tár deserves all the acting accolades we can give her. Her various looks throughout the movie, stunning. The cinematography, sublime. The director and writers get my kudos for making a movie that is two and a half hours long seem much shorter. Awards for everyone involved!
Lydia Tár as she is portrayed in this movie is a person who understands her craft but doesn’t understand people. The scene at Juillard shows a distinct lack of empathy and tact. The whole thing with Krista Taylor shows again a distinct lack of empathy. Tár is a person who /can/ separate the art from the artist and is very good at doing so. Her desire to focus on the art and only the art is very much to her detriment; by the end of the movie she loses everything, her partner, her personal assistant, her Mahler symphony.
Does Tár understand what happened to her? Why it happened? Will she become a more well rounded person because of it? The movie leaves us with these unanswered questions in the final act of the movie. I don’t know the answers to these myself either and I continue to be fascinated by Tár as a person.
I don’t think I’ve watched a movie in the genre of “character study” before but from now on TÁR has set the bar by which other such movies will be measured. If you haven’t watched this movie yet, set aside some time in your calendar and give it a watch, you won’t regret it.
P.S – I am using Letterboxd to log my movie watching this year. Reviews will always be published on this blog.