Cate Blanchett has defended her film “Tár” after intense criticism from the famous conductor Marin Alsop.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, the actor said she respects Alsop, a “pioneer of a musician”, but noted that her own take on the film differs from the conductor’s view – which was overwhelmingly negative.
Alsop had told The Sunday Times earlier this week that ‘Tár’, a story about a world-famous conductor accused of sexually assaulting female victims, is ‘anti-woman’.
“I was offended: I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a conductor, I was offended as a lesbian,” Alsop told the UK outlet, adding that she took particular offense at the unfavorable portrayal of female leadership.
“Getting the chance to portray a woman in that role and make her an abuser — for me, that was heartbreaking,” she said.
Alsop is mentioned by name in the film and – as The Sunday Times noted – bears some similarities to Blanchett’s character in terms of professional background and lesbian identity.
“So many superficial aspects of Tár seemed to match my own personal life,” she said.
However, Blanchett offered her own interpretation of the film in response to Alsop.
“It’s a meditation on power, and power is genderless,” the actor said.
Blanchett said she – along with “Tár” director Todd Field – wanted to spark a lively conversation and that the circumstances surrounding her character are “entirely fictional.”
“I’ve looked at so many different conductors, but I’ve also looked at novelists and visual artists and musicians of all stripes,” said Blanchett. “It’s a very non-literal movie.”
The actor said a man in her role couldn’t convey the “corrupt nature” of power “in such a nuanced way.”
“I think power is a corrupting force, regardless of one’s gender. I think it affects us all,” she said.
The critically acclaimed film earned Blanchett a Golden Globe for her role, and the film is expected to do well at the Academy Awards in March.
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