Framed as a biopic documenting a portion of fictional conductor and EGOT winner Lydia Tár’s life, Tár is a reasonably divisive film. I saw this movie in theaters while in DC for a Northern Review event, and it was gorgeous in that setting. However, the beautiful cinematography and slow pacing did make for a high-brow viewing experience. Still, Gabe and I walked out of the theater, satisfied nonetheless. The runtime didn’t feel like 2 hours and 48 mins, and the film gave us a lot to think about. I loved the movie so much that I immediately preordered the Blu-ray.
Unfortunately, it didn’t play as well at home. When my brother and I watched it, he was bored by a pretentiousness that I hadn’t noticed the first time in a theater. While I won’t say he “didn’t get the movie,” I still liked it a lot, even in my basement. The slow burn was still very effective, especially with the absolutely unpredictable and hilarious ending. The pretentiousness makes the end even better, especially on a second watch.After discussing the movie with a few other friends who also watched it in their homes and not in a theater, they agreed with my brother. In short, you’re either going to love or hate this thing. One aspect that can be universally agreed upon, however, is the career-defining performance of Cate Blanchett. The audience buys her as Tár, and you genuinely believe that this is a real person. Love it or hate it, critics seem to agree that Tár is an important film, if nothing else. While the runtime seems daunting, give it a shot. It’s available on Peacock now, for when you’re tired of The Office reruns.