Todd Field’s Tár (stylized as TR) is a 2022 drama film directed, written, and produced by him.
Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, a renowned composer-conductor whose life and career are depicted in the film. Noémie Marant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong are among the supporting actors.
The Ending of Tár Explained
Todd Field’s last film was released in theatres more than 15 years ago. Needless to say, a lot has changed in the intervening time. Field, a Stanley Kubrick mentee, has previously used his films — “In the Bedroom” in 2001 and “Little Children” in 2006 — to explore tangled domestic relationships.
Field’s 2022 film “Tár” focuses on tangled professional relationships. Of course, all relationships, including those formed at work, are personal, which is at least part of the film’s point.
The worst executives and luminaries did not begin abusing their power in the last decade and a half — it’s just that we’ve only recently begun to have public conversations about it in person, online, and through our art.
The field is a musician (as well as an actor), and he sets this timely psychological drama in the elite world of classical music. This particular world is already so high-strung that it has served as the setting for similar psychological dramas.
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However, “Tár” shows us that world through the eyes of the accomplished master slash monster, the titular Lydia Tár, rather than the stressed-out ingenue (Cate Blanchett). The story of the woman with the baton is thorny and largely unresolved, and it raises more questions than it answers.
Lydia Tár is at the Apex of Her Career
When we meet Lydia Tár, she’s taking one last deep breath before walking on stage to participate in The New Yorker Festival, where she’ll be interviewed in front of a live audience by Adam Gopnik, the magazine’s renowned staff writer (as himself).
Gopnik counts off the feathers in her cap. She is a proficient pianist and composer. She knows a lot about Peruvian music. She is one of only 15 people to have received the EGOT.
Her teacher was Leonard Bernstein. She’s held prestigious positions at music institutions all over the world and is about to record Mahler’s 5th symphony with her current employer, the Berlin Philharmonic, completing her own cycle of the composer’s work. It should be noted that Lydia’s use of Mahler as a source of inspiration is symbolic on several levels, as we’ll discuss later.
Lydia is also about to release a book called “Tár on Tár.” The fact that she has accomplished enough to merit a career retrospective at such a young age demonstrates how celebrated a figure she is within a rare world.
Shots of her expensive custom shirts being hand cut and sewn, as well as early scenes in which those in her orbit fawn over her (her assistant, Francesca, and her business partner, Eliot) do.
However, the manner in which Gopnik and Lydia ask and answer questions — as if they both automatically assume that everything she says is brilliant — is the clearest indication that this high-horse riding anti-hero is ripe for an epic fall.