Cate Blanchett has defended her film “Tár” after intense criticism from famous conductor Marin Alsop.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, the actress said she respected Alsop, a “pioneering musician”, but noted that her own version of the film diverged from the director’s opinion, which was overwhelmingly negative.
Alsop had told The Sunday Times earlier this week that “Tár”, a story about a world-renowned conductor facing allegations of sexual abuse against female victims, is “anti-woman”.
“I was offended: I was offended as a woman, I was offended as a director, I was offended as a lesbian,” Alsop told the British outlet, adding that she was particularly offended by the unfavorable portrayal of female leadership.
“To have the opportunity to play a woman in that role and make her an abuser, it was heartbreaking for me,” she said.
Alsop is mentioned by name in the film, and as noted by The Sunday Times, she bears some similarities to Blanchett’s character in terms of professional background and lesbian identity.
“So many superficial aspects of Tár seemed to align with my own personal life,” he said.
Blanchett, however, offered his own interpretation of the film in response to Alsop.
“It’s a meditation on power, and power has no gender,” the actor said.
Blanchett said that she, along with “Tár” director Todd Field, wanted to start a lively conversation and that the circumstances surrounding her character are “totally fictional”.
“I watched so many different directors, but also novelists, visual artists, and musicians of all stripes,” Blanchett said. “It’s a very non-literal movie.”
The actress said that a man in her role could not convey the “corrupting nature” of power “in such a nuanced way”.
“I believe that power is a corrupting force regardless of one’s gender. I think it affects all of us,” she said.
The critically acclaimed film earned Blanchett a Golden Globe for her role, and is expected to do well at the Academy Awards in March.
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