Jump to content

Recommended Posts



R.                     158


And keeping of my theme for this month, best picture nomination predictions, we come to another one that is regularly in the top five predictions. In the last few years, the woke Academy has added criterion to the selection process that don't always necessarily involve quality of performance, filmmaking or entertainment value. Often, I can appreciate something that seems to break the mold and whether you find much enjoyment in this biopic TAR it’s certainly not the same old same old.

One of the factors I personally use when judging a movie includes, among other things,  acting. Cate Blanchett is the real deal, capable of performing a myriad of characters well. Here she is Lydia Tar, a brilliant and respected director of classical music who has served time with our own Cleveland Orchestra among other high-profile organizations. In my opinion a great performance could include over the top fireworks, captivating charisma or completely blending in to the character and that third option is what Blanchett does here. One could take clips of this film without ever knowing it was a motion picture and believe it was actual interviews with a renowned conductor. Dialogue is crisp and precise and Blanchett never slips out of character.

Another of my check mark comes from this question: did the director, Todd Field in this case, tell the story he or she wanted to tell? I suppose so. This is a slice of the woman’s life as she prepares to direct Mahler’s masterwork, the 5th. That preparation is interwoven with the relationship with her partner and stepdaughter, along with some other extremely uncomfortable issues, and as far as I can tell the story did just that. Third perhaps; is the subject someone worthy of note? Undoubtedly. To my surprise the storyline was not like many that center on a minority character a battle between ideologies. This was basically a look at the personal tribulation involved in preparation for a crowning professional achievement. Gender and sexual orientation were of course involved but not the focus of this film. In other words this unique and well acted story is deserving at least of a nomination for Best Picture and certainly a nomination for best actress for Blanchett.

On the other hand, I'm never afraid to include entertainment value in my list of requirements for a great film. I don't doubt that there are some viewers that would be fascinated with the interaction of the characters here, I'm just not one of them. I didn't love nor hate any of the characters and frankly, though he is undoubtedly a gifted composer, Gustav Mahler has never been one of my favorites. Like this film I find his work technically proficient yet without the hooks needed to grab the soul of the listener or in this case the viewer. Still, it’s a quality film even if seems a bit like taking medicine.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...