Cate Blanchett's Tar has premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 1. The film, written and directed by Todd Field, has turned heads as it's Field's first film in the past 15 odd years. Field is widely known for his debut directorial venture In The Bedroom.
Blanchett plays Lydia Tar, the titular character, who is a master of conducting and composing classical music. The film's cast includes Noemie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong. Journalist Adam Gopnik appears as himself.
The film has received positive reviews. Cate Blanchett, especially, has been receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews about her performance. Her natural air of confidence seems to have lifted the character up.
Owen Gleiberman in a review for Variety has said, "Blanchett, in a performance that's destined to make her a major presence in this year's awards season, plays Lydia Tár, one of the most celebrated conductors of her time."
Peter Bradshaw in his review for The Guardian, has written this about the movie, "I am not sure that all the film's disparate and intriguing tics and hints and feints all come satisfactorily together, but what a colossal performance from Cate Blanchett."
In an interview with film enthusiast Alberto Farina at the Festival, Todd Field was asked why he saw Cate Blanchett as Tar before he even started writing the film, and Field replied that he had never before written a film for an actor. He said that she just came to his mind, and he never questioned that spark but merely went with it.
Blanchett was asked about her challenges in playing Tar. She said the biggest challenge was the technical education she had to go through before even getting to the performance. And she thanked Field for his brilliant writing, which brought forward a layered and nuanced character.
Speaking of how he approached the story, Field said that he saw a little girl and he tried to envision where she would end up as she grows, and eventually he had a story of a flawed and complex genius named Lydia Tar.
The writer-director added that it was a liberating experience to sit down and take this character wherever he wanted, instead of being restricted by events in the life of his characters tying him down to a certain arc. It should be noted that Field was involved in a number of adaptations during the gap after his second film, and none of them materialized owing to multiple reasons.