TÁR

TÁR ★★★★½

Wow, incredible. Some half-formed thoughts.

-- It's kind of nuts that this is 1) only Todd Field's third movie, and 2) that he hasn't made a movie in a decade and a half -- it feels so masterful, like he'd been working regularly and was at the top of his game. It's like Malick coming back with The Thin Red Line (or Portishead coming back with Third).

-- Very easy to see why Scorsese was like "THIS is CINEMA". It's not just a movie that feels substantial (and is), but it's also definitely a "theater experience" kind of movie and I wish I'd seen it there instead of at home. It, in the words of a poet, "feels like a real, like you know, go-to-the-theater-film movie". The sound design especially would have benefitted from a theater viewing. Maybe it will win at the Oscars and they'll do a limited engagement. I'll cross my fingers.

-- The film depends heavily on Cate Blanchett to deliver a legacy performance and she absolutely does. Immaculate performance.

-- It's not exactly a "funny" movie, I don't think, but there are lots of very funny moments. And the audacious closing reveal, followed by the song that plays over the credits, may be one of the funniest things I've seen all year. Field is a madman.

-- Tar is an uncanny movie in many ways, but one that stood out to me is the extent to which it refuses to signpost what's important, even though it is so immersive and closely-observed. It somehow manages to do that without becoming incoherent. Not sure I've ever seen a movie manage that before.

-- A list of movies that I was reminded of: There Will Be Blood, Black Swan, Nightmare Alley (1947), The Master, The Sweet Smell of Success, Michael Clayton. I can't explain all of these but if this list vibes with you I recommend watching Tar immediately. Do not read any more discourse about the film.

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