Movie Review: Tar


The trend in movies over the years has been, “Let’s be different”, “We have to do something nobody has done before”, and “We have to break new ground, invent something new”. Unfortunately, too much of this is much more annoying than it is entertaining.

The new movie “Tar” is one of those movies that tries to be so different that it fails in too many ways. This film starts with the ending credits at the beginning – and considering the too-long length of this movie – having to sit through 5 long minutes of credits before a movie starts is too weird than it is an attempt of trying something new. Nobody wants to sit through 5 minutes of movie-ending credits even before the movie even starts.

There could be more dialogue in this movie than in any movie ever made. The film starts with the main character Lydia T├ír – who is a famous fictional director – being interviewed on stage in what seems to be an “Actors Studio” kind of show. This scene and too many others like it last way too long and violate the screenplay credo of “show rather than tell”. After this much dialogue for 2 hours and 38 minutes, the tedium and boredom reach fever pitches way too often. This entire story is about a somewhat arrogant conductor in Berlin Germany and her interpersonal interactions and problems with the many musicians and students she works with. Lydia also teaches music at a local University where she has a rude interaction with a student who because of his nervousness – cannot stop shaking his leg. Yet another one of these strange, trying to be new and different scenes.

I was rather amazed at my ability to stay awake during this long and mostly boring experience. Unfortunately, the ending was weird, absurd, and made no sense, but in this case was the perfect ending to a rather perfectly strange film.

As for the critics their high marks are all about Cate Blanchett’s excellent acting performance – which I agree is very good. Blanchett will most likely be receiving another Academy Award nomination for Best Actress – but this film has no business being nominated for best picture. However, it probably will be only because it is so weird and different. Hopefully one day soon the pendulum will swing back to quality over something that is only about never been done before.

For fans of Cate Blanchett, I recommend this movie, for everybody else, run from this long strange, and weird experience.