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Can Tom Cruise use his maverick magic to save Tár from box office oblivion? | Movies -
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Can Tom Cruise use his maverick magic to save Tár from box office oblivion? | Movies

OOf course, we all know that something is seriously wrong with the world of theatrical cinema. But no film has illuminated this problem quite like Tár, a film with such seemingly unstoppable critical buzz that Oscar glory seems all but certain, yet has barely been watched by anyone. So far, fewer people worldwide have seen Tár than Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile in its first two days of release. And Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile wasn’t a smash hit either.

However, all of that could be about to change, as Tár director Todd Field has just come up with a foolproof publicity strategy. That’s right, he credits Tom Cruise with much of his success.

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Field brings up Cruise twice. The first example comes when he talks about Eyes Wide Shut, in which he scored a small role. According to the interview, Field treated the shoot like a kind of director’s camp, following Stanley Kubrick and asking him technical questions. And that caught the eye of Tom Cruise. Cruise took Field out to dinner and said, “You’re going to do movies.” Field differed by mentioning a piece of news he probably wouldn’t get the rights to, and Cruise replied, “You’re just making excuses. Understand it.He did, and thus began his journey as a director.

Even better than that, however, Field also revealed that Cruise went out of his way to protect his 2001 film In the Bedroom from the clutches of Harvey Weinstein. The story is this: Miramax bought In the Bedroom and then, as usual with Weinstein, proceeded to butcher it in post-production. Shocked by Weinstein’s brutality, Field called Cruise. And Cruise provided a systematic, long-term plan to save the movie.

“He basically said, ‘That’s how you’re going to play it. It’s going to take you six months, and you’ll beat it, but you have to do exactly what I’m going to tell you to do, step by step,” Field says of Cruise. The plan, in a nutshell, was to let Harvey Weinstein edit the film as much as he wanted, then wait for him to test badly, as he almost certainly would, before reminding him of all the good reviews he had. received in its original form. The plan worked, and In the Bedroom turned a profit and received a Best Picture nomination at the following year’s Oscars.

So, for all who matter, Tom Cruise is the man who persuaded Todd Field to let go of his fear and meet his destiny as a director. And Tom Cruise is the man who made Todd Field a critical darling, rather than just another nameless director crushed under the wheels of Harvey Weinstein’s grotesque egomania. And now, just by bringing his name to his ad campaign, Tom Cruise just might be the man to help Todd Field put Tár on the seemingly insurmountable path to recouping his production budget.

Not only does this make Tom Cruise look like both a good guy and a powerful industry ally, but it also creates the dazzling possibility that Cruise exists simply to help Todd Field out of trouble. Maybe the next time Todd Field stumbles on his way home from the supermarket and drops some fruit on a busy road, Tom Cruise will rush out of nowhere and stop all the surrounding traffic from hitting him. Or, maybe, if Tár doesn’t win an Oscar this year, Tom Cruise will jump through the ceiling like Batman and physically change the winner’s name on the envelope with nothing but the power of his mind. Because, as we’re all finding out, that’s exactly the kind of guy Tom Cruise is.