Since becoming the fictitious composer Lydia Tár in Todd Field’s recent drama TÁR, Cate Blanchett has opened another can of worms in the conversations surrounding controversial figures in media. The Oscar-nominated Australian actor has defended her embattled character in a recent interview with the the Radio Times (via The Independent), saying that avoiding “offensive” topics like cancel culture just means we’re “destined to repeat” history going forward.
The title character of TÁR is an acclaimed and well-known composer who is accused of preying on and abusing young musicians. Although some have called the film harmful and even “anti-woman,” Blanchett says that there’s wisdom to glean from its perspective on “cancel culture” and the #MeToo movement.
“If you don’t read older books that are slightly offensive because of what they say in a historical context, then you will never grapple with the minds of the time [and] we are destined to repeat that stuff,” she explained. “Look at Picasso. You can only imagine what went on in, outside and around his studio. But do you look at Guernica and say that is one of the greatest works of art ever? Yes, it’s a fact. It’s important to have a healthy critique.”
TÁR nabbed a handful of nominations for the 2023 Oscars, including for Best Picture and a Best Actress nod to Blanchett. She also recently returned for Season 4 of Documentary Now!.