Cate Blanchett

‘Tár,’ starring Cate Blanchett, receives an ecstatic 6-minute standing ovation in Venice, generating instant Oscar buzz.

Todd Field’s “Tár,” a drama starring Cate Blanchett as a famous composer embroiled in a public scandal, officially opened the 79th Venice Film Festival on Thursday afternoon. The film received a rapturous six-minute standing ovation from the audience inside the Sala Grande Theatre, who kept chanting “Bravo!”

 

Blanchett took a bow, clutching the hand of festival director Alberto Barbera, but the applause continued and grew louder. When the applause died down, Blanchett turned to someone on her team and said, “Let’s get a drink.”

 

Indeed, Blanchett’s performance in “Tár” is expected to be one of the most lauded of the Oscar season. The film’s positive reviews almost guarantee Blanchett her eighth Oscar nomination for acting. (She’s already won two Academy Awards, for “The Aviator” in 2005 and “Blue Jasmine” in 2014, but “Tár” is sure to spark speculation that she’ll win a third in March 2023.)

 

Even before it premiered, “Tar,” which will be released in theatres by Focus Features on November 7, generated a lot of buzz. Todd Field returns to directing after a 15-year hiatus with this film. He claims to have written the script for Blanchett. Crowds gathered outside the red carpet for a glimpse of “Cate! Cate! Cate!” as they held up signs and movie posters at the late afternoon premiere on the Lido. Blanchett worked the crowd, quickly signing dozens of autographs before heading inside to watch the film.

 

Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Mark Strong, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Sophie Kauer, and Sylvia Flote are among the supporting actors in “Tár.” Hildur Gunadóttir, the Icelandic composer whose original score for “Joker” won an Academy Award in 2020, contributed to the film’s original compositions.

 

Field, whose acting credits include Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and the ABC family drama “Once and Again,” made his directorial debut with “In My Bedroom” in 2001. Sissy Spacek’s critically acclaimed drama received five Oscar nominations, including best picture. His 2006 follow-up “Little Children” received similar accolades, garnering three Oscar nominations. Both of his feature films have been nominated for Oscars for best adapted screenplay.

 

 

Variety’s film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote in his rave review of “Tár” from Venice, “The movie is breathtaking — in its drama, its high-crafted innovation, its vision.” It’s a brutal but intimate story about art, lust, obsession, and power… Its characters are as real as life. (Even the smallest role is acted to richly drawn perfection.) You believe in the reality you’re seeing at all times, and it’s amazing how that raises the stakes.”

 

“Tár” will also be shown at the upcoming New York Film Festival by Focus Features. This year, Focus has several potential Oscar contenders, including James Gray’s “Armageddon Time.” Gray’s drama had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and will also be shown at the New York Film Festival alongside “Tár.”

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