TÁR – Review by T.J. Callahan

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TÁR: “Our only home is the podium.”

World Class pianist, composer and conductor, Lydia Tár is about to reach new octaves in her career when her life hits a sour note and begins to unravel. She is currently conducting a major German orchestra, has a book coming out and is days away from a live symphony performance, but gets so caught up in her own ego that she finds herself part of the cancel culture.

Cate Blanchett IS Lydia Tár. The Oscar winning actress gives a masterclass interpretation of a masterclass musician. A devious bully that beats to her own metronome. Blanchett, who switches from English to German flawlessly, not only learned to play several instruments for the role, but she did her own conducting, twirling the orchestra baton like a musical majorette.

Blanchett is better than the movie, though.

TÁR is a well made, sophisticated character study, but at 2 hours and 37 minutes, its tempo drags because it’s overloaded with side stories making this film hard to follow at times, despite never wanting to take your eyes off Cate. There’s more music-speak than music. I’d have preferred the latter.

TÁR is a symphonic soap opera that’s not for the tone deaf. It’s for the discerning Blanchett fan. She’s a whirling dervish with a magic wand that will cast a spell on you and Academy voters come awards season. Rated R for some foul language and brief nudity, TÁR proves once again that even though you think your life is in tune, fame and power don’t necessarily work harmoniously together. 7 out of 10 for the movie. 10 out of 10 for its star.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.