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Cate Blanchett is splendidly horrid in the spellbinding "TÁR"


Starring Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Mark Strong, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner and Sylvia Flote. Written and directed by Todd Field. Now playing at Cineplex Varsity & VIP. 157 minutes. PG

⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (out of 4)

Movie Box Office + Trivia, Nov. 18-20

Todd Field has a lot on his mind: cancel culture, betrayal, the demands of fame, the ruthlessness of genius and Mahler's Fifth Symphony. They collide to make this first film in 16 years by the American writer/director ("In the Bedroom," "Little Children") a fidgety narrative and a disorienting watch. Fortunately, the title tornado, Lydia Tár, is played by the essential and anchoring Cate Blanchett. Winner of an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), Lydia excels at everything except human decency. As head of the Berlin Philharmonic and a conductor of global renown, she breathes rare air and enjoys privileges not granted to most. She expects others to obey and satisfy her, often sexually (all off-camera), giving little heed to the effect her affairs have on her life partner, Sharon (Nina Hoss), and her loyal and adoring assistant, Francesca (Noémie Merlant, "Portrait of a Lady on Fire"). Lydia exudes entitlement, abuses the "robots" around her and declares that time stops and starts when she waves her baton. She's about to find out that karma is a beast, too. Blanchett is splendidly horrid in this spellbinding psychodrama; another "O" for Lydia's EGOT is entirely attainable. 🌓

— Peter Howell


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