|Ratings||UK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 11|
|Source of story||An original screenplay|
|Starring||Cate Blanchett, Noemie Merlant, Sylvia Flote, Mark Strong, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover,|
|Ratings||IMDb: 7.5/10 by 56,771 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 91% by 326 reviewers.|
Summary: Lydia Tár is a feted female lesbian conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, generally addressed as “maestro”. She lives with her wife Sharon who is her principle violin, they have a daughter Petra, and relies on Francesca her assistant. They have a luxury pad, presumably in Berlin and she has further apartments, at least one of which is in New York. She has bad dreams, and occasionally hears unexplained screaming. She is associated with an organisation called the Accordion Foundation for aspiring female conductors, but has taken against one graduate Krista Taylor, who may have been romantically involved with her. She also supports the inclusion of a Russian cellist in the orchestra. Possibly based on sexual attraction. But her world begins to fall apart when Krista Taylor commits suicide, and the woman’s parents threaten to sue her, followed by an article in the New York Post accusing her of sexual predation.
Content: No sex or nudity really, quite a bit of social drinking; Lydia is constantly popping pills. A very long interview before an audience setting the scene. Many scenes in the marital home with Sharon and their daughter. Implications that there has been an affair with Krista Taylor, implications that there is an affair with Olga, her chosen cellist. Lots of scenes of the orchestra being conducted. Arguments with Eliot and amateur conductor and friend, with Sebastian the assistant conductor who she sacks, and discussions with Andris the previous conductor of the orchestra, who talks about other conductors (real ones), who have been disgraced.
A View: This movie has been nominated in many categories of the Oscars, but won in none of them. It has been well liked by the critics, but essentially I am with those who have been frustrated by the lack of clarity in the presentation. We, the audience, need to be hit over the head with the plot, and for me obscure references to possible events and emotions, and the inclusion of scenes which don’t seem to have any real bearing on the plot does not do it. Even so it is an interesting film if you don’t have any knowledge of the classical music world, and, I suppose, an even more interesting one if you do.
I have reviewed a few Cate Blanchett films on this site, the more interesting one include Nightmare Alley, Hanna and Ocean’s Eight.
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