The film gives such a comprehensive portrait of its protagonist, Tár, that it isn’t always obvious if it’s based on a genuine story or not. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of conductor Lydia Tár adds realism to an otherwise horrific story. Since sexual politics and the abuse of power are still pressing issues today, it would be natural to conclude that the events depicted in Tár actually occurred.
In Tár’s introductory scene, a real New Yorker journalist lists Lydia’s many musical accomplishments to introduce the protagonist and show that she has reached the height of her career. Cate Blanchett steadily develops Lydia Tár into a multifaceted figure by incorporating numerous contradictory and corrupt elements throughout her story.
Tár reads more like a biopic than a work of fiction now that so much of Lydia’s backstory has been revealed. As a result, it’s tough not to question if certain works of fiction are inspired by actual events.
Is Tar A True Story?
Tár may appear like it’s based on a real-life orchestra conductor’s fall from grace, but it’s not. However, Tár’s advertising and demeanor cleverly promote the film as an Elvis-style music biopic, and the audience is easily fooled. Even the official storyline summary (through Letterboxd) for Tár reads like the description for a genuine artist’s biopic, promoting the film as a biography of an orchestra director named Lydia Tár.
However, Tár does get ideas from the real world, despite its seemingly realistic portrayal. In an interview (via Vanity Fair), filmmaker Todd Field saw connections between the moment at Julliard where Lydia criticizes a student and his own experiences in a tough film school class. See Is Narvik Based On A True Story: Are Narvik Cast Members Actually There?
Field noted that the inspiration for the scenario came from the age-old question, “What would your older self advise your younger self?” Field, in another interview (via AwardsWatch), elaborated on how he sought advice from music conductor John Mauceri, which helps to explain the realistic portrayal of music directing in the 2023 Best Picture Oscar candidate.
When Is Tár Released?
The film debuted in theatres across the United States in October 2022, and on Friday, January 13 in the United Kingdom.
Tár has not yet found a home on any streaming platforms, therefore it can only be seen in theatres.
Just Who Is Starring In Tár?
Some say that Field penned the script with Blanchett in mind.
“Todd handed me this script and I inhaled it,” Blanchett gushed to W Magazine.
“Todd was a musician first, so there was a musical quality to the script, and not just because it’s set in the classical music world.
“It could just as easily have been about an architect or a painter or a writer—anyone in a position of top institutional power, and the way that being in that position gets in the way of their sense of self and ability to relate to people.”
Mila Bogojevic plays Lydia’s adopted daughter Petra, while Noémie Merlant plays her aide Francesca. Nina Hoss plays Lydia’s wife Sharon.
Is Tár A Recipient Of Any Prestigious Honours?
Nominees for the Academy Awards of 2023 won’t be announced until January 24th, so Tár may not have much time to shine.
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This film is up for numerous Golden Globes this year, including Best Motion Picture, and Drama, which was awarded on January 11th. Blanchett has been nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama, while Field has been nominated for Best Screenplay, thanks to their respective performances.
Tár has already been honored by the likes of the American Film Institute, the National Society of Film Critics, and the Venice Film Festival.
Multiple film festivals and critics’ groups have honored Cate Blanchett as Best Actress for her work in the picture.