Sixteen years since his last film “Little Children” peeled back the malaise and psychosexual dysfunction of suburbia, director Todd Field is back on the film festival stage with “TÁR.” Field has paddled around a suite of projects over the years, from a 20-hour Showtime limited series take on Jonathan Franzen’s tome “Purity” with Daniel Craig and David Hare, to a likely-never-to-happen adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s unfilmable western “Blood Meridian.” After adapting fiction for his last two films — Tom Perrotta’s novel “Little Children” and the Andre Dubus short story “Killings” for his debut feature “In the Bedroom” — Field returns to writing his own material.
“TÁR” is set to make waves at the fall festivals with stops at Venice and NYFF before Focus Features releases the whopping two-hour-and-40-minute film on October 7 stateside. Cate Blanchett stars as renowned (and highly fictional) composer Lydia Tár, in the film regarded as the first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. While plot details are scarce, it’s clear from this latest teaser that she’s up against a moment of crisis.
Blanchett is joined by Christian Petzold favorite Nina Hoss, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” star Noémie Merlant, and British actor Mark Strong in the cast.
Earlier this year on the Film Comment Podcast, Blanchett said, “I just worked with Todd Field which was fantastic; he’s such a fantastic collaborator. [We worked] in Berlin. I play a conductor of a celebrated German orchestra, and my name is Lydia Tar. It’s about, a sort of fall from grace, a come to Jesus moment and about the creative process, and about power, so it’s really interesting.”
Field has an enviable stack of Oscar nominations and Oscar-nominated collaborators on his resume, with two nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay to his name for “In the Bedroom” and “Little Children.” Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei, Kate Winslet, and Jackie Earle Haley have all earned nominations for their performances in his films. “In the Bedroom,” a critical sensation in 2001, was also nominated for Best Picture.
And Field got his start in front of the camera as an actor: “Eyes Wide Shut” fans may also recall his eerie performance as piano player Nick Nightingale, but he also appeared in films like “Radio Days,” “Walking and Talking,” and “Twister.”