Tag Archives: Noémie Merlant

Tár (2022) Review



Time: 158 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language & nudity
Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár
Noémie Merlant as Francesca Lentini
Nina Hoss as Sharon Goodnow
Sophie Kauer as Olga Metkina
Julian Glover as Andris Davis
Allan Corduner as Sebastian Brix
Mark Strong as Eliot Kaplan
Director: Todd Field

Set in the international world of Western classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered one of the greatest living composer-conductors and the very first female director of a major German orchestra.

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Tár was yet another one of the most acclaimed movies of 2022 I had been hearing about for months which I had been meaning to see, focussing on a conductor played by Cate Blanchett and her eventual downfall. It more than lived up to all the acclaim.


The script is sharp and tight, very well crafted. As said earlier, Tár is a character study about an esteemed classical composer-conductor. The lead character Lydia Tar feels so lived in, to the point where she  almost seems like its about a real composer (leading to some viewers to actually think that she is a real person). There are long stretches of people just talking, in fact the movie opens with a 10 minute interview with the lead character. At the same time, despite the large amount of dialogue, there isn’t a whole lot of exposition or immediate knowledge given to the audience to clarify what happened or to give context, requiring us to really pay attention to what is happening. There’s some surprising tension, and at points it plays like a thriller, especially in the back half of the movie. I did hear about this movie before watching it and a lot of people had hopped onto saying that it is about cancel culture. Having seen the movie though, I think that’s missing the point of the film. Tár is about ego, narcissism and hubris, and a fall from grace as a result of that. It really is one of the best and authentic portrayals of a downfall I’ve seen in a movie. Its a long film at 2 hours and 40 minutes long and it is slower paced for sure. When you hear the premise, you expect things to escalate quickly. However, it takes its time to slowly build the foundations before it all comes tumbling down. Still, I didn’t feel like it dragged and I was riveted from the beginning to the hilariously fitting ending.


Cate Blanchett plays the lead character of Lydia Tar and gives quite potentially the best performance of her career, which is saying a lot considering all the other fantastic performances she’s given. The character herself is compelling, with each scene revealing something about her. She’s in just about every scene of the movie, and Blanchett plays her perfectly, embodying every facet of her with ease. One of the best performances of the year. The other performances are great too. Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong all do some really good work, even in their smaller parts.


I’m not familiar with Todd Field’s movies but I do know that his last movie Little Children was released all the way back in 2006. Tar is his return to directing, and his work here is outstanding. It is a gorgeous looking movie with a distinct visual style. The cinematography excels, bleak yet beautiful and with striking compositions, and the production design is stellar. The longer camera takes really help you get wrapped into the movie. Hildur Guðnadóttir composed the score, which is fantastic as expected.

TÁR (2022)

Tár is one of the year’s best films. An incredibly well crafted character study, masterfully directed and with excellent acting, especially from Cate Blanchett, who gives one of her all-time best performances.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Review

Time: 121 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Nudity
Noémie Merlant as Marianne
Adèle Haenel as Héloïse
Luàna Bajrami as Sophie
Director: Céline Sciamma

In 18th century, France a young painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) without her knowing. Therefore, Marianne must observe her model by day to paint her portrait at night. Day by day, the two women become closer as they share Héloïse’s last moments of freedom before the impending wedding.

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I had been hearing a lot about Portrait of a Lady on Fire leading up to its release. All I knew was that it was a French movie that everybody who saw it loved, and many had been declaring it as one of the best films of the year. Having finally seen it, although I’m not quite at the level of those people, I can confirm that it is great.

First and foremost, it is worth noting that Portrait on a Lady on Fire is quite slow, particularly at the beginning section of the moevie. However, it builds up over time, and only gets better as it moves along, as it builds up towards the end. It’s a very subtle and quiet movie on the whole, just focussing in on our lead two characters and their interactions together. It’s such a genuine and intimate movie, and it’s not melodramatic or pretentious. It’s actually quite hard to explain how the movie works, it’s just something you’ll have to see for yourself. I will say that the slow pacing might’ve detracted from my enjoyment and experience of the movie, at least I’m guessing that’s the reason I don’t nearly love it as much as a lot of other people. I do get the feeling however that it’ll hit harder and work better for me next time I watch it. Even if I wasn’t that emotionally invested or connected to the characters and story, on the whole its plotted out quite well, and I think it was ended quite well, even though I think ending it a scene or two earlier would’ve also worked. I liked many of the ideas that they presented, and I’m looking forward to revisiting this movie.

The two lead performances are some of the best acting of the year, in both Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel. They felt so natural in their roles, and their chemistry was completely believable. Though much of their interactions that bring them closer together are subtle (and these interactions do drive the movie), these two actresses really conveyed the characters and their emotions excellently.

This movie is pretty much perfectly directed by Céline Sciamma, and it’s one of the main reasons why this movie worked so well. It’s a gorgeous looking film, with the cinematography from Claire Mathon making this movie one of the best shot movies of the year. Much of the subtlety that I mentioned earlier, is provided by the direction, and that really worked for the movie. The use of music was great as well, I don’t remember it being used often, but when it was present, it was used excellently. On a technical level it was pretty much perfect, very likely one of the best directed films of the year.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a very well made and visually stunning movie, beautifully directed and excellently acted. Definitely one not to miss from this year. Despite this, I will admit that I do feel like I’m missing something from it compared to the other reactions coming out of this movie, and it’s definitely something I want to revisit sometime in the future. Nonetheless, I’d say to catch Portrait of a Lady on Fire as soon as you can, there’s at least a lot to appreciate in it, even if you don’t completely fall in love with it.