Cate Blanchett Responds to Top Conductor's Criticism of 'Tár'

(Photo: Focus Features)

Cate Blanchett has offered a thoughtful response to a leading conductor's criticism of her latest film Tár.

Earlier this week the actress won a Golden Globe for her performance as the film's title character, Lydia Tár, a fictional conductor whose dazzling career is threatened when her relationships with several female protégés are called into question. The hard-hitting film hinges on Tár's alleged abuse of power.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, real-life conductor Marin Alsop – the chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra – said she felt the film was "anti-woman."

“I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a conductor, I was offended as a lesbian," she said. "There are so many men – actual, documented men – this film could have been based on but, instead, it puts a woman in the role but gives her all the attributes of those men. That feels anti-woman."

Blanchett responded to this criticism in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today show, saying she has the "utmost respect" for Alsop. "She's a trailblazer of a musician and a conductor, and it’s a very provocative film and it will elicit a lot of very strong responses for people," she added.

Continuing, Blanchett said the film – written and directed by Todd Field – isn't necessarily specific to the world that Alsop works in. "What Todd and I wanted to do was to create a really lively conversation,” she said. "So there's no right or wrong responses to works of art. It's not a film about conducting, and I think that the circumstances of the character are entirely fictitious. I looked at so many different conductors, but I also looked at novelists and visual artists and musicians of all stripes. It’s a very non-literal film."

Blanchett also said that Alsop is "entitled to her opinion," but argued that for her, the film is "a meditation on power and power is genderless."

You can watch Blanchett talking about Tár when she appears on The Graham Norton Show. This will be in the show's new Sunday timeslot on Sunday, January 22 at 11pm EST on BBC America.

Have you caught Blanchett's performance in Tár yet?