Loved Tár? Here Are 8 Movies You Will Also Like

‘Tár’ is a drama film that centers upon a renowned music composer, Lydia Tár, who is about to record a composition that can take her to the top of the success ladder. Her life starts to crumble as her sanity delves into past issues and her marriage to her wife starts falling apart. Directed by Todd Field, the movie is helmed as the next big thing in Hollywood and has been widely appreciated for both Cate Blanchett’s acting and Todd Field’s direction-writing.

Though Tár is a fictional character, the committed and authentic depiction of the protagonist might make you look for various other movies that feature a composer or a creative genius whose visionary work lives on for years after they die. If you enjoy watching the lives of creative exemplars and their journey toward success (or downfall), then we have just the right pick of similar movies you can add to your list.

8. Her Smell (2018)

After finding fleeting success with her band, Becky Something descends into chaos amid her excessive drug use and flailing cruel behavior. The drama movie focuses on major milestones of her life rather than winding towards an unfathomable downfall. Directed by Alex Ross Perry, ‘Her Smell’ features Elizabeth Moss, Amber Heard, Cara Delevingne, and Ashley Benson. In the back of her mind, Becky’s intricate creative process unravels similarly to Lydia’s, where she idly strolls through the winding hallways of studios and music venues.

7. Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s novel by the same name, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is one of the greatest movies of the 1920s. Directed by Rupert Julian (with uncredited portions by Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, and Edward Sedgwick), the silent horror film revolves around a young aspiring musician who is given the gift of music by an enigmatic, horrifying phantom that stalks the Palais Garnier in the 1800s opera building in Paris.

Each shot of the 1925 film captures the ghost legacy’s raw essence: shadows that climb up walls, ballerinas who giggle and scream, hidden passageways, and agonizing longing. This mimics the haunting past of Lydia in ‘Tár,’ which follows her wherever she goes making it impossible for her to focus on her work.

6. Whiplash (2014)

Directed by Damien Chazelle, this tension-filled drama sheds light on the harsh relationship between Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) and his ruthless teacher Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons). While Lydia shows interest in the emerging star Olga Metkina (Sophie Kauer) which further portrays aiding of unhelpful patterns, Fletcher asks Andrew to join his band in an attempt to break him down.

‘Whiplash’ explores the thin line between Fletcher pushing Andrew to the point of abuse in order to reach an artistic breakthrough and making people break down to get back up stronger. Both ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Tár’ highlight the more sinister, callous side of ambition, which drives Andrew and Lydia, respectively, to compromise their morality in order to fulfill the promise of their skill.

5. Immortal Beloved (1994)

Directed by Bernard Rose, the film captures the struggles of Ludvig Van Beethoven in his life as a musical genius who couldn’t hear. Beethoven’s secretary sets out to solve the riddle of his “immortal beloved,” to whom Beethoven left all of his music and money when he passed away. The movie follows very interesting storytelling techniques, constantly switching between flashbacks and the current timeline.

Apart from the compelling narrative of the biographical movie, the talented supporting ensemble, including Isabella Rossolini as a fierce Hungarian countess, Jeroen Krabbé as his devoted secretary, and Johanna ter Steege as his deadly foe, only enhances Gary Oldman’s ideal casting as the eccentric genius.

4. Amadeus (1984)

The two leads of the movie, which is based on the urban legend that Antonio Salieri killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, are Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham. In the Miloš Forman directorial, Salieri is a court composer of mediocre talent who has a deep reverence for God and an obsessive animosity toward Mozart. The film is an adaptation of the eponymous 1979 stage play by Peter Shaffer, who also serves as the screenwriter of the 1984 film.

Even by modern standards, ‘Amadeus’ is bitingly humorous and profoundly tragic, even though it takes some artistic liberties with reality. Despite being released in 1984, the film arguably set a benchmark by which all other musical biopics should be judged. The thirst for being the best and beating the competition is evident in both ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Tár.’

3. Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)

Tick, Tick…BOOM!‘ is about troubled artist Jonathan Larson, the creator of the now-iconic musical ‘Rent.’ It centers upon aspiring composer Larson (Andrew Garfield) who is battling to establish himself before turning 30. His girlfriend left him, his pals broke up, and poverty began to encroach due to his aspirations as an artist. Directed by Lin Manuel Miranda, the movie focuses on the same themes as ‘Tár’, such as troubling history, broken relationships, and inner conflicts that hinder their progress in the creative world.

2. All About Eve (1950)

One of the most influential films on the theme of competition is Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s classic ‘All About Eve’, which is an adaptation of Mary Orr’s ‘The Wisdom of Eve’ from Cosmopolitan magazine. The Oscar-winning drama follows Margo Channing (Bette Davis), a renowned and accomplished Broadway actress who stands at professional crossroads at the age of 40.

Soon, Margo meets Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), a devoted fan who dreams of acting herself. As Eve gradually infiltrates Margo’s social and professional circles, ego, power, and importance collide as the two women compete to outshine one another on stage and at Broadway gatherings. The theme of competition and the need to be better than their peers are highlighted in ‘Tár’ as well.

1. Black Swan (2010)

Nina Sayers of the New York City Ballet is consumed by her need for perfection in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller ‘Black Swan.’ Nina, like Lydia, lives an isolated existence centered on cultivating and honing her talent. But, unlike Lydia, Nina lives under the thumb of her coddling but controlling mother, Erica (Barbara Hershey), a former dancer herself.

Nina’s co-dependent relationship keeps her in a state of arrested development, with no life outside of dance, making her prone to childish tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. Apart from the protagonist’s formidable obsession with their legacy and the psychological warfare between domination and submission to their craft, ‘Tár’ draws several parallels to the Natalie Portman-starrer. Thus, it is no surprise that you must add this to your watch list!

Read More: Is Tár Based on a True Story?