Todd Field is back with his first original story, and it’s a masterpiece.
After taking a 16-year break between his last film Small children and his last movie, Todd Field is set to return as one of this year’s most celebrated filmmakers with TAR.
TAR takes a psychological look into the world of a fictional female composer who has generated many thought-provoking conversations from audiences. Centered on Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), a composer who becomes the first woman to conduct a major German orchestra, the film received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, making it a strong contender for the next season. of rewards.
Unlike his two previous feature films, which were adaptations of other stories, TAR is Field’s first original story.
In an episode of Variety Awards Circuit PodcastField revealed that he wrote a original screenplay before. When Field finished his fellowship at the American Film Institute in the early 1990s, he wrote an original screenplay that he described as a French-style coming of age, similar to François Truffaut’s. 400 Shots.
Unfortunately, the film was turned down by his agent who said “the 1980s were not an era” that the public would be interested in seeing. Depressed and discouraged, Field never showed the script to anyone.
Eventually, Focus Features President Peter Kujawski asked Field if he had written anything he wanted to make into a feature film.
“When someone gives you that kind of freedom and respect, you’re desperate to meet them, head-on,” Field said.
The story Field wanted to tell was TAR.
He started writing the film at the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Field started writing the screenplay and finished it in 12 weeks.
“I’m not a plotter,” Field said. “I normally think about the characters. I am interested in people and observe their behavior.
The characters’ slow, provocative epic is hard to find in modern cinema. And if you find it, it’s even rarer that these character-driven stories can perfectly eliminate the main character until the final image shows the character’s full transformation.
Glenn Kenny praised the film throughout his review for Roger Ebertsaying:
Much has already been written about how the film’s narrative draws on emerging stories of abusive behavior and exploitation by powerful people in the arts. Are the lofty aspirations and accomplishments of a Lydia Tár tainted by her problem-solving behavior, or is she ultimately in the right anyway? Field’s film happens to be almost as skeptical of the culture from which a figure like Tár hails as it is of the contemporary strain of culture that seeks to debunk it. In the end, “TÁR” is not a diatribe or a parable, but an interrogation, which seeks to attract the viewer and compel him to consider his own place in the question.
Despite Field’s previous attempt to write an original screenplay that was ultimately shot down, his confidence in its story and direction shines through every frame of TAR.
Writing is a difficult and vulnerable thing to do. Once the script leaves your hands and is read by others, it is no longer your story. It evolves into something else. Trust that the story you’ve written has the potential to be something big.
Don’t be afraid to make this movie yourself or hang on to the script until you find someone who believes in the story and values it.
Have you seen TAR? Let us know your thoughts on the film in the comments below!