Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár in director Todd Field’s “Tár,” which debuts Friday in theaters.

If you drew the story arc of "Tár," it would be a long horizontal line that ends with an angled, nearly vertical one. In other words, nothing happens for quite a while and then a whole lot happens at once.

For its first two hours, writer/director Todd Field's movie wants us to meet conductor Lydia Tár, a genius when she's leading her orchestra in Berlin but a horrendous person offstage. Manipulative, deceitful, demanding and rude, she shows us who she is when she threatens a pre-teen bully on a playground and, perhaps more to the point, when her assistant mentions International Women's Day and she has no idea what that is. There's not a lot of plot in "Tár" but you can consider that last detail foreshadowing, since it turns out Tár is accused of mistreating a series of young female musicians.

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