Lydia Tár on the podium

Tár, not Tar – even in the title of this drama about a world-famous conductor’s epic fall from grace there are hints as to what exactly caused it. Writer/director Todd Field, in his first film since 2006’s Little Children, structures this grand return like a symphony, with a big opening statement à la Mahler’s Fifth, introducing conductor extraordinaire Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) on stage in conversation with Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker. This is the full data-dump of personality – a glamorous, garrulous, driven, intellectual, unapologetic, combative internationally feted conductor at the top of her game. Tár’s self-satisfaction is almost unbearable to watch. After that a series of sketches dip slightly behind the … Read more


Jeanne riding on Jumbo

The opening shot of the skewed romantic drama Jumbo is of a naked Noémie Merlant putting on her clothes in her bedroom. She’s an attractive young woman with a fine body, as the camera makes clear. An edit later and we’re with Jeanne (Merlant) as she bowls out the door and heads off to work. There’s a noticeable difference in her that goes beyond the clothes. Her indoor, naked, persona was bright and bubbly; outdoors Jeanne is mousy, lacking in self-confidence, withdrawn and nowhere near as attractive. But all this is about to change, when Jeanne falls in love with a ride called Jumbo at her local amusement park. A carousel, to be … Read more