Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.
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People are a complicated mix of good and bad elements. Talented people more so.
Cate Blanchett's lesbian orchestra conductor character Lydia Tár is a lot of important things to a lot of people.
Lydia preys on young women when she isn't busy rehearsing, composing, giving interviews, co-parenting a child with her partner, and all that goes into leading the Berlin Philharmonic.
Where does Lydia find the time for keeping up the subterfuge of pretending to sublimate her ego for art?
Todd Field's first film in 16 years is a (seemingly) rigorous psychological thriller, an intellectual puzzle if you will.
Sadly, it's a broken puzzle.
Lydia Tár gets in Dutch with the mob rule of social media — ironic especially because social media is neither social nor media.
No telling how many lives social media has destroyed.
As for its creator, Field gets in Dutch by cutting too close with the character of Lydia Tár to real-life lesbian symphony conductor Marin Alsop, music director laureate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
For the record, Marin Alsop has voiced her outrage at the film, and its parallels to herself.
Marin Alsop calls Tár "antiwoman."
Hard to argue with Marin Alsop.
You're a fool if you do.
As such, "Tár" comes across as a cheap parlor game.
Why Todd Field chose to craft his film so closely to a specific musical artist is a mystery deeper than any in the film.
If Todd Field had an axe to grind, that axe has come back to hit him in the face.
"Tár" does itself another disservice by neglecting key elements of a suicide subplot that contributes to the challenges of its unreliable protagonist.
Reality has stepped in too much for "Tár" to be considered the masterpiece that it strains to be, much less what it is, a B-movie in big budget trappings.
Cate Blanchett is nonetheless transfixing as ever, even if her narcissist character is a flat cardboard creation.
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