Tar Venice Review The Downfall of a Narcissist

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Cate Blanchett Shines in Todd Field’s TÁR: A Character Study of a Master Manipulator

Cate Blanchett delivers an outstanding performance as a master manipulator in Todd Field’s haunting character study, TÁR. The film revolves around Lydia Tár, a renowned composer and conductor, portrayed by Blanchett. Halfway through the movie, Lydia’s adoptive daughter praises her, but as the audience, we know better. We witness Lydia’s belittling behavior, lies, manipulation of subordinates based on personal motives, and even threats towards children. She is a complex character, and the film leaves us questioning whether there is more to her than meets the eye.

A Brutally Honest Portrayal of a Flawed Genius

Todd Field, the writer, director, and producer of TÁR, presents us with a character study of a brilliant yet cruel genius who finds no redemption by the end of the film. Unlike other films that explore morally flawed characters, TÁR does not provide redeeming qualities or moments of vulnerability. It raises questions about the nature of art, talent, and creativity. Is Lydia Tár simply a successful woman who happens to be a horrible person? Or is the filmmaker challenging our perceptions by portraying a sexual predator who defies our expectations?

To delve further into the film’s plot would spoil the experience of discovering it on your own. TÁR introduces us to a range of characters in Lydia’s life, including her partner Sharon, her assistant Francesca, and a young cellist who captures her attention. Their interactions and the skeletons in Lydia’s closet add intrigue to the narrative. Ultimately, the film explores themes of art, talent, and the complexity of human nature.

A Chilling Distance: Blanchett’s Captivating Performance

Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Lydia Tár is undeniably brilliant. She presents a character who remains completely unrelatable, yet the audience cannot help but try to understand her. Blanchett’s portrayal showcases Lydia as an artificial projection of a person, an entity that exists solely in her own controlled universe. Her coldness is palpable as she manipulates those around her, asserting her control and pretentiousness. From the film’s opening credits to Lydia’s captivating monologues, Blanchett captures the essence of the character and keeps us engrossed throughout.

A Complex and Thought-Provoking Cinematic Experience

TÁR is a masterfully crafted film that challenges its audience. It offers a witty commentary on art, creativity, and narcissism, but at times, the intended message may not be immediately apparent. The film’s runtime of 2 hours and 38 minutes demands attention and patience, making it potentially exhausting for some viewers. However, TÁR remains intriguing and thought-provoking, leaving a lasting impression even after the credits roll.

Although it may not be a film you would choose to watch multiple times, TÁR lingers in your mind and sparks ongoing contemplation. The captivating performance by Cate Blanchett and the film’s exploration of complex themes make it a gripping and unforgettable cinematic experience.


Todd Field’s TÁR offers a stunning portrayal of a master manipulator, brought to life by Cate Blanchett’s exceptional performance. The film defies conventions and expectations, presenting a character study with no redemption but abundant complexity. Through its exploration of art, talent, and human nature, TÁR engages viewers in a thought-provoking experience that lingers long after its conclusion.


  1. 1. Is TÁR based on a true story?

    No, TÁR is a work of fiction and not based on a true story. It is a character study created by Todd Field.

  2. 2. What awards has Cate Blanchett won for her performance in TÁR?

    Cate Blanchett’s performance in TÁR has received critical acclaim, although the film’s release is recent. As of now, no specific awards have been announced, but Blanchett’s portrayal is generating significant buzz.

  3. 3. Where can I watch TÁR?

    TÁR is currently available to watch on digital platforms and video on demand services. Check your preferred streaming services for availability.

  4. 4. Does TÁR explore gender dynamics in the music industry?

    While TÁR does not specifically focus on gender dynamics, the film presents an intriguing and complex female character in a male-dominated field. It raises questions about how we perceive successful individuals who exhibit morally flawed behavior.

  5. 5. How does TÁR contribute to the genre of character-driven films?

    TÁR adds a refreshing approach to character-driven films by presenting a protagonist who lacks redeeming qualities. It challenges the audience’s perceptions and leaves room for interpretation, making it a unique entry in the genre.