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Blanchett Nails ‘Tár’

There is not much I can add to Zadie Smith’s wonderfully acute assessment of ‘Tár’ in The New York Review of Books. Here’s just a taste -

“Not everyone who reaches middle age has a crisis or spends their middle years manipulating the young or driving anybody to suicide. But good films are not about “everyone.” They are about someone in particular, and Blanchett’s characterization of this Lydia Tár proves so thorough, so multifaceted in its dimensions, so believable, that it defies even the film’s most programmatic intentions and has reportedly sent many a young person to googling: Is Lydia Tár a real person? She is not one in the eyes of the algorithm, but she certainly is in mine. She captures so clearly the self-pity of a predator, the vanity of a predator, the narcissism of a predator, and in one remarkable scene comes to embody the act of predation itself.”

“It happens after one of Olga and Tár’s private rehearsals - in which nothing remotely sexual has occurred - and Tár is now dropping Olga outside her building. But Olga has left her good-luck mascot, a teddy bear, in Tár’s car and Tár, realizing, immediately tries to capitalize, hurrying after Olga down an alley, which itself turns out to lead to a filthy, damp, abject apartment complex, about as far from Tár’s real estate portfolio as could be imagined. Olga is nowhere to be seen, and Tár can’t find the right door. Now she is in some kind of bleak inner courtyard. It is suddenly dark. Water drips. I never before thought Blanchett had a predator’s face, but stalking through this dripping, Tarkovsky-esque wasteland with those cheekbones, she looks just like a jaguar - who is now confronted by another predator: a large hound, in shadow, barking at her, a symbol of menace worthy of Kubrick. She runs, falling over onto concrete, smashing that beautiful face of hers. But the dog doesn’t attack. Nobody attacks. Yet she goes home and tells her wife and daughter that she has been mugged.”

Now go see the movie - and watch her win the Oscar!

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