Maestro is a cinematic masterpiece that unveils the life and genius of Leonard Bernstein, an iconic figure in the world of classical music. Directed by Bradley Cooper, who also delivers a stellar performance as Bernstein, this film offers a mesmerizing journey into the highs and lows of the renowned conductor and composer’s life. It’s a must-watch for anyone seeking to be captivated by a powerful story, exceptional acting, and the transformative magic of music. Whether you’re a fan of Bernstein’s work or new to his legacy, Maestro promises an emotional and artistic experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the legendary orchestra conductor, Leonard Bernstein, was nothing short of astonishing. Cooper didn’t just act; he transformed himself into Bernstein, capturing his mannerisms, unique voice, and commanding presence. It was a remarkable display of his incredible range as an actor, and I couldn’t help but think that he deserves a place in the best actor award conversation for this role.
However, Maestro isn’t a one-man show. The supporting cast, including Sarah Silverman, Maya Hawke, and Matt Bomer, delivered outstanding performances. It was refreshing to see Silverman in a more dramatic role rather than her traditional comedic performances. Hawke and Bomer were also impressed with their nuanced portrayals and characters. Still, the real scene-stealer was Carey Mulligan as Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. Her performance was a revelation, particularly in the emotionally charged moments. Mulligan’s delivery was so genuine and heartfelt that it left me completely in my feels. Her onscreen chemistry with Bradley Cooper was perfect. Even so, she managed to command every scene she was in. Mulligan deserves to be in the Best Supporting Actress award conversation without a doubt.
Cooper’s direction in Maestro was nothing short of fantastic. One aspect that stood out was his impeccable choice of scene transitions. The film primarily revolves around Bernstein reflecting on his past life, and these transitions added a dream-like quality to the narrative. This creative approach allowed Cooper to infuse each scene with imagination and symbolism, enhancing the storytelling experience.
The film’s narrative itself was quite intriguing. While I was familiar with Leonard Bernstein’s name, I didn’t know much about his life. Maestro delves deep into his personal and professional journey, shedding light on aspects of his life that were perhaps unknown to many. It’s a testament to the film’s storytelling that it made Bernstein’s life story so compelling and accessible to enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
One of my favorite scenes in Maestro was definitely the Cathedral scene. It was a moment when viewers could fully immerse themselves in the music, feeling like they were part of the orchestra. The scene had the intensity of a sporting event, with Bernstein leading his team to a musical victory. There’s another scene that I cherished, but I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll recognize it when the need for tissues arises.
If I were to nitpick, there were a few instances when it was challenging to understand what Bradley Cooper’s character was saying. His character’s constant smoking, combined with his adoption of Bernstein’s gravelly voice, occasionally made it difficult to hear his lines, especially when other characters were talking over him. Obviously, a simple fix for this is to turn on the captions when this streams on Netflix.
Maestro is a true work of cinematic beauty that honors the life and work of Lenard Berstein. Bradley Cooper’s dual role as lead actor and director showcased his deep commitment to the material and getting Berstein’s story as thoughtfully accurate as possible. Martin Scorsese would surely be proud because Maestro epitomizes what he often calls “cinema.” (I’m guessing it helps that Scorsese is also an executive producer on this film too.) Much like A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper continues to bring on the waterworks for your eyes in his films. He demonstrated his ability to capture raw and enthralling emotions on screen. It’s just a beautiful film that deserves to be in the awards conversation and possibly even win some. If you get the chance, even if you’re not a fan of classical music, do yourself a favor and check out Maestro. Check out our interview with the crew from Maestro below.
Director: Bradley Cooper
Writer(s): Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Josh Hamilton, Scott Ellis, Gideon Glick, Sam Nivola, Alexa Swinton, Miriam Shor
Maestro comes to select theaters November 22, 2023 and streams on Netflix December 20, 2023. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!
Maestro Review: Bradley Cooper Conducts a Cinematic Symphony
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/109/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 8/108/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10
- Watchability - 9/109/10
- Rewatchability - 8/108/10