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8/1/2022 • 4 min read
Ask certain hardcore cinephiles about their most anticipated movie of the year and you might get a surprising answer. That’s because, after 15 years, filmmaker Todd Field finally returns with a new movie. The director of IN THE BEDROOM and LITTLE CHILDREN has completed a movie called TÁR, starring Cate Blanchett as an ambitious and talented composer who is on the verge of a personal crisis.
Todd Field has a uniquely interesting and varied career, and his two previous directorial efforts created a stack of Oscar nominations. With TÁR set to premiere this fall, we have no doubt that the movie will be high in the awards season conversation and hopefully that also means that it will be a compelling movie for audiences. Here are the first trailers for TÁR, and everything else we know about the movie.
Above is a very minimal teaser which is certainly aimed at audiences who are excited for new Cate Blanchett movies, and for whom Todd Field's name is a big deal. It's also gorgeous, with Mahler's 5th Symphony in the background and narration that we suspect is performed by Field himself.
And that narration! Lines like "and whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power" are certainly ominous. But the statement that anyone who wants to hold power must "stand in front of the public, and God, and obliterate yourself," followed by that smash cut to Blanchett's character in front of the orchestra, says a lot.
If you want a more traditional trailer — and one that deftly sells a sense of tense foreboding — then watch the more recent full trailer for TÁR.
We only know the general outline of the story, which Focus Features says is "set in the international world of classical music. [IT] centers on Lydia Tár (Blanchett), widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and the first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.
We also know that Blanchett's character has an adopted daughter and that their relationship is key to the story as Lydia barrels towards the moment which may become a personal high point if it does not destroy her. After watching that trailer above, you can probably guess that this movie won't be a basic drama. It's safe to say that Blanchett's character feels intense pressure to perform and succeed.
Todd Field has a great crew working on TÁR, such as cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister, who lensed ANTLERS, and editor Monika Willi, who has edited several movies by director Michael Haneke, whose work seems like a major influence on Field.
Perhaps most important for a movie about a conductor is that the music for TÁR is by Hildur Guðnadóttir, who won an Oscar for her work scoring JOKER. She was, in fact, the first woman to win the Best Original Score Oscar. Whether or not that had any bearing on Field's choice to have her score this movie, we can't help but wonder if there are any parallels that inform the movie's story or tone.
From working as a batboy to a baseball team with Kurt Russell as a player to helping create Big League Chew to working with Stanley Kubrick to directing a couple of great, challenging movies, Todd Field has a wild history. As a teen, he worked with the minor-league Portland Mavericks, a team owned by Kurt Russell's father Bing Russell. Field was the team's batboy, and with pitching coach Rob Nelson he made the first batch of Big League Chew in his home. (As seen in the entertaining documentary THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL.)
Field became an actor, with roles in movies like RADIO DAYS, TWISTER, and WALKING AND TALKING — and, most recognizably, in Stanley Kubrick's final movie, EYES WIDE SHUT. Field played Nick Nightengale, the old friend of Tom Cruise's character Bill Hartford, who tips Hartford about a string of exclusive parties full of masked guests and gorgeous women. Things don't seem to work out well for his character, but the movie was quite fruitful for Todd Field himself.
Kubrick was one of a few mentors who helped Field move towards directing. Field's debut feature, the drama IN THE BEDROOM, opened in 2001 to great acclaim, and his tense follow-up, LITTLE CHILDREN, came out in 2006. Field hasn't made a movie since then. But in addition to TÁR, he is also set to direct two episodes of the Martin Scorsese-produced series adaptation of "The Devil in the White City."
All images courtesy of Focus Features.
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