FNE at Berlinale 2023: Tar (USA) : Special Gala

    Tar by Todd Field Tar by Todd Field source: berlinale.de

    BERLIN: Director Todd Field’s Tar starring Cate Blanchett has earned itself a slot in the Berlinale lineup as a Special Gala screening. With Cate Blanchett as the driving force behind this film it comes as no surprise.

    What might be more of a surprise is that Todd Field as the scriptwriter and director of this film.  It is his first film in 16 years and his two previous films the 2001 In the Bedroom, a small indie drama, and his 2006 Little Children which failed to catch on didn’t point towards this big scale star driven drama Tar.

    Tar is the story of a talented conductor Lydia Tár played by Cate Blanchett who has established herself in the male-dominated world of classical music. When she arrives in Berlin as the first woman appointed to conduct a major German orchestra, she is at the peak of her career.

    Controversially the real life woman conductor Marin Alsop, whose career it is rumoured to have played a part in the shaping of the storyline of Tar, has spoken out against the film.  Alsop in real-life is the principal conductor of tehVienna Radio Symphony Orchesta.  As the fictional Lydia Tár is portrayed as abusive, narcissistic and a person who bullies her students and exploits her employees it is little wonder that Alsop has objected to her career being compared to the fictional Tar.

    In the film Lydia is at the height of her career when a crisis appears and her career begins to falter. All of this complicates her relationship with her concertmaster and partner played by Nina Hoss and jeopardising her career and the reputation of the entire orchestra.

    Filmed mostly in Berlin the film is also a story of musical passion, and a tribute to Berlin one of the great musical capitals of the world.

    Tar (USA)
    Directed by Todd Field
    Cast: Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Adam Gopnik, Julian Glover