HOLLYWOOD -- Cate Blanchett is playing a music maestro in the new movie, "Tar." Her character is one of the best at what she does, but as the film plays out, this music genius named Lydia Tar may also be abusing her power with bad behavior.
The film, set in the world of classical music, has Blanchett playing the chief conductor of a major German orchestra. She's considered one of the greatest artists in her field, but she may be using her influence to get what she wants away from the stage.
That could be said of writer/director Todd Field. This is his first film in 16 years, and he put a lot of thought and research into it.
"It's a film that asks a lot of questions, and it requires an audience to exist. It's not a film that lives in and of itself. The audience really are the final filmmakers," said Field. "It's a process film, and it's a film meant to, hopefully, inspire, if not incite, very, very lively conversations."
"This is not a film about a woman running an orchestra. I mean, it's about someone who believes in the power of exception and who is absolutely excellent at what she does" said Blanchett. "She's a master of her craft but she's very estranged from herself."
To play this role, Blanchett had to learn plenty of music terms - not to mention how to act as a conductor.
"Conducting for her is like breathing," said Blanchett. "You know, it's just something that she does. It's a form of communication that she 110% understands."
But Blanchett admits playing the role was daunting.
"You know, when I thought, 'I have to get out Alexa musical lexicon to sort of analyze all the musical terms.' But what I quickly realized, and I think an audience realizes, is you allow that to wash over you," said Blanchett. "All you need to know is that this person is at the top of their game and they know what they're talking about."
"Tar" is in theatres now.