Tár (2022) Screenplay Analysis

Tár (2022), written by Todd Field, is a fast-pace high-intensity film that racked up a number of awards. How’s the screenplay? Let’s analyze it.

Script Formatting Notes

  • Draft Read: Unknown
  • Type: Spec
  • Page Count: 94
  • Reading Speed: Medium
  • Setting(s): NYC, Berlin
  • Plot Structure: Linear, Spanning multiple weeks
  • Genre(s): Psychological Thriller
  • Theme(s): Music, Love, LGBTQ+
  • Protagonist Change: Moderate (debatable)

Overall Thoughts

I recently had the chance to read the script for Tár. Unfortunately, it has been some time since I read it, so I’ll keep this analysis short and succinct.

From Page 1, one can immediately tell Tár is going to be an advanced and somewhat slow read. There’s an action paragraph on Page 1 that’s about 20 lines in length.

Like Whiplash (2014), which also focuses on music, the script is tight, efficient and intended for sophisticated audiences. In other words, you would be hard-pressed to find an Adam Sandler fan praising Tár, and vice versa.

Lydia Tár is a lesbian workaholic who is the first female chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. In other words, she’s a big deal. She’s also a narcissist and an all-around bad person. And the way she behaves is in many ways similar to how many high-level executives appear to act behind closed doors, as well.

Like many screenplays in which the protagonist’s world comes apart, Tár slowly falls from grace. Not as quickly as Howard (Adam Sandler) in Uncut Gems (2019), but relatively quickly, mostly due to the fallout after she berates a BIPOC student. And that’s the story.

How about the writing? Well, it’s a masterclass. Totally unique. Here’s one action line (Page 53):

One smile then another. The first BOW raises, followed by a SECOND, and THIRD. Tár watches the forest grow denser until it’s fully matured.

In conclusion, Tár is worth the read. Now it’s time to watch the movie.