Cate Blanchett wins Best Actress at Venice for ‘Tár’

Cate Blanchett with the Volpi Cup in Venice. (Photo: Giulia Parmigiani/Universal Pictures)

Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of a famous composer who is caught up in a public scandal won the Best Actress prize at the Venice International Film Festival on the weekend.

In Todd Field’s Tár, Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, an orchestra conductor considered one of the greatest at her craft and the first female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.

However, she experiences a stunning fall from grace when the nature of her relationships with a string of younger women comes to light.

Field’s first film in 16 years also stars Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, and Sophie Kauer.

It received a six-minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Sala Grande Theatre, with Blanchett’s performance singled out for praise in subsequent reviews.

This marks her second Best Actress win in Venice, having previously earned the Volpi Cup for her performance as Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ 2007 film I’m Not There.

In accepting the award, Blanchett said it was an “incredible honour” to receive the prize from the jury while paying tribute to her collaborators on the project.

“No one stands up here with the Volpi Cup without working alongside a magnificent cast,” she said.

“And our cast was led by the great Nina Hoss, who I absolutely worship, and the Dresden Orchestra, who I also absolutely worship.

“Also, no one stands up here with this thing, which I am going to drink a lot of red wine out of later, without a cracking script and a superlative director, and I had both.”

Other winners on the night included Colin Farrell, who was awarded Best Actor for his role as Pádraic Súilleabháin in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, for which McDonagh also won Best Screenplay.

This year’s Golden Lion went to Laura Poitras’ documentary on the life and work of renowned photographer and activist Nan Goldin, All The Beauty And The Bloodshed, while Alice Diop’s drama Saint Omer took home the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize.

Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino won the Silver Lion Best Director prize for Bones and All, with star Taylor Russell crowned Best New Young Actor or Actress.