In a lecture given at Harvard University in 1976, the conductor/composer
"A work of art provokes questions, not answers them," said the artist.
Bradley Cooper's new film about the musician opens with the same quote.
Teaser trailer for "Maestro" released
All sorts of questions were flying about the movie Cooper co-wrote, directed and starred. Bernstein was hesitant to respond to questions about art. But I am not. I saw the film Saturday at the Venice Film Festival and I can tell you everything you need to know about Maestro.
Netflix will release a documentary called 'Maestro,' which will explore the extraordinary but complex life of Leonard Bernstein. He is best known for his works such as 'West Side Story,' and is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
America's first great conductor
Matt Bomer, the handsome musician who shares Bernstein's news, is still naked on his bed. As Bernstein's fame grows, he is increasingly tempted by the seductive charms of Matt Bomer.
(Carey Mulligan), a actress with a exotic accent from Chile and a laugh that sounds like a musical trill.
Bernstein confides in her, 'The world expects us to be one and that's deplorable.' Bernstein is pressured by his friends to be a 'clean' person and do his work. He marries Montealegre who is happy for him to have a few affairs with men as long as they are discreet. He's not. Alongside "Oppenheimer" and
The upcoming 'Ferrari'
You could put 'Maestro,' in the category 'Movies about Major 20th-Century Figures who Might Have Fooled around a Little Too Much.
You can expect an email with stern words from the film's representatives if you call 'Maestro" a biopic. They insist that the film is a love tale. The 27-year relationship between Bernstein, Montealegre and their children is indeed the main concern.
It's true, too, that "Maestro" doesn't follow the traditional rules of biopics. It's not a biography that traces Bernstein's life from birth to death. His artistic achievements are mostly portrayed in the background, or between scenes. The iconic score from 'West Side Story,' is only heard once in an unexpected scene at the end of the film. The film's best musical sequence, however, is the dream ballet. You can see Bernstein conducting in a virtuoso-long take. Cinematic dream ballets, such as the "I'm Just Ken" number from "Barbie", are having a big moment.
The prosthetic nose Cooper used to portray Bernstein in the teaser trailer released by Netflix on August 20th was removed.
On social media, some people questioned the casting of a non-Jewish actress as a Jewish icon. The three children of the Bernsteins responded with a statement.
It's true that Leonard Bernstein did have a big nose. Bradley used makeup to enhance his resemblance to Leonard Bernstein, and that's fine by us.
How does Cooper's fake nose look in the film, putting aside any concerns about propriety? The first time that 'Maestro,' shows Cooper in the movie is during a flash-forward near the end Bernstein's career: the nose is just one part of the truly amazing old-age make-up he has on. It's not the first thing anyone would notice. The prosthetic is distracting when Bernstein's young years are shown. It's too much, but not enough.
Fake nose in "The Hours"
Young Bernstein looks like Bradley Cooper with a large beak, which is what made Nicole Kidman look unrecognisable.
The trailer of 'Maestro,' which was released on Friday, gives Mulligan the first billing ahead of Cooper.
Montealegre is the only person in the film, so observers wondered if "Maestro" would be told from Montealegre’s perspective.
It's not. Cooper has a lot more screen time than Mulligan, even though she plays a much bigger role in the film. Even if 'Maestro,' is viewed as a two-hander film, he has the advantage. At least the billing was nice! Cooper's name is mentioned five times in the credits of 'Maestro'. Maybe he felt that he should be given a short reprieve.
Cooper's feature directorial debut, "
A Star Is Born
The original song 'Shallow' was nominated and won an Oscar for ''2018'. Can 'Maestro,' a similar Oscar bait, bring Cooper the nomination for best director he missed a few year ago?
Raves from the industry
Then, there is the
The film's chances of winning awards will be improved by cooler reactions, even though the movie has received a lot of criticism.
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It is likely that not all critics are going to be on the same page. Cooper will have to rely upon others to help him make his case, as the SAG/AFTRA strike has prevented him from promoting 'Maestro.' He was not able to attend the Venice premiere or news conference because guild rules prohibit actors to do press for large-studio productions.
It's impossible to deny that these performances are huge. And after Cooper, the best actor nominee for 'A Star Is Born,' lost to Rami Malek, who was wearing prosthetics to play a real human, it may be Cooper's time to get a role like this. There will be many contenders in the field.
You can count on Leonardo DiCaprio and ('Oppenheimer,') but not on a
nine-time nominee like Cooper
If he wins, it's not by a hair.