Cate Blanchett is one of the best actresses of her generation, with seven Oscar nominations and two wins (Best Supporting Actress for The Aviator and Best Actress for Blue Jasmine), to her name. And she may have just made her “magnum opus.”
The first film from director Todd Fields (In the Bedroom) in 16 years, Tár, premiered on Thursday at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, and the reviews are near-universally positive, especially for Blanchett. “Tár is breathtaking entertainment,” Richard Lawson writes for Vanity Fair, “anchored by Blanchett’s alternately measured and ferocious performance, a tremendous (but never outsized) piece of acting that is her most piercing work in years.” IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich was equally effusive, writing, “The controlled demolition of a performance she delivers here provides a more nuanced (and cautiously sympathetic) interpretation of the social dynamics behind the #MeToo movement than any male actor or character might be able to offer.”
TÁR is incredible and kept reminding me of Kenneth Lonergan’s masterpiece MARGARET, with its focus on a flawed, frustrating, often hilariously self-involved protagonist and the people she leaves in her wake. Blanchett slays hard. It’s her career-achievement reel all in one movie!
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) September 1, 2022
Truly an honour to witness Cate Blanchett, an event of an actress, deliver a predictably stunning turn in TÁR. Every contracted finger, turn of the wrist and rested palm feels as precisely calculated as an orchestra and yet just as beautifully primitive. #Venezia79
— Rafa Sales Ross (@rafiews) September 1, 2022
Bella TÁR! Just bowled over by Todd Field's worth-the-wait return in this wildly ambitious, morally complex and skin-pricklingly tense character study, the kind of film you simply wouldn't write if Cate Blanchett didn't exist. Wrote a bit about it here: https://t.co/LrouW4Fuqi
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) September 1, 2022
Wow. Todd Field’s thrilling TÁR sets a high bar early in the #Venezia79 competition, and while I generally leave the Oscars punditry to others, Cate Blanchett’s scorcher of a performance should catapult her to the top of awards forecasts. My @THR reviewhttps://t.co/ySAf8C9Xyk
— David Rooney (@DavidCRooney1) September 1, 2022
TÁR – Oh this is extraordinary! Bravo! Bravo! A confident, beautifully crafted study of an epic downfall. A ravishing look at how ego and obsession with power can warp one's mind, carving out the souls of those who cannot stop their pursuit of more power. Perfection. #Venezia79 pic.twitter.com/UqAgtck5Cd
— Alex @ #Venezia79 (@firstshowing) September 1, 2022
Following the premiere, Blanchett called Tár a “human portrait and I think we have perhaps matured enough as a species that we can watch a film like this and not make [a character’s gender or sexuality] the headline issue. It just is, and I found that exciting.”
As for the official plot synopsis:
From producer-writer-director Todd Field comes Tár, starring Cate Blanchett as the iconic musician Lydia Tár. Tár examines the changing nature of power, its impact, and durability in our modern world.
Tár opens in theaters on October 7. You can watch the teaser above.