Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and filmmaker Todd Field (Little Children) elevate art to new, provocative heights in quite a character study astutely fashioned from a recording of a symphony.
The lure of power and tranny emanating from it sets into motion plenty of opportunity for the actress to pan from stern control to deep apprehension in amazing fashion as the notion of one’s legacy comes into play. The clash of supreme discipline with humanity provides a penetrating dissection for such a prestigious conductor and aspiring composer rising to the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra.
A fictionalized portrait strikingly coalesces in ways that have the narrative on less firm ground to offer more interpretive cogency leading to an unnerving high point. Observing what happens to Blanchett’s arrogant, yet vulnerably avowed lesbian Lydia has genuine poignancy in an age of self-expression and ‘ cancel culture.’ Field, like Blanchett, and her very capable co-stars, including Nina Hoss, Noemie Merlant, and Mark Strong definitely have a note-perfect commitment to material spiffed up like the EGOT talent that Lydia is.