Maestro (2023)
October 26, 2023 6:40 AM - Subscribe

This love story chronicles the lifelong relationship of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein (Carey Mulligan).

Maestro is a 2023 American biographical drama film that centers on the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre. It is directed by Bradley Cooper, from a screenplay he wrote with Josh Singer. It was produced by Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Cooper, among others.

Maestro premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion, on September 2, 2023. The film is scheduled for a limited theatrical release on November 22, 2023, before streaming on Netflix on December 20, 2023.

Official trailer

Carey Mulligan as Felicia Montealegre
Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein
Matt Bomer as David Oppenheim
Maya Hawke as Jamie Bernstein
Sarah Silverman as Shirley Bernstein
Michael Urie as Jerome Robbins
Gideon Glick as Tommy Cothran
Sam Nivola as Alexander Bernstein
Miriam Shor as Cynthia O'Neal
Alexa Swinton as Nina Bernstein
posted by I_Love_Bananas (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Since nobody has remarked on this post, I thought I’d add this piece from Jacobin.

I have not seen Maestro yet.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:07 PM on December 24, 2023

I watched this last night. Somewhere during it I started asking myself, if you came into this not knowing who Leonard Bernstein was and why he was important and interesting, is this movie telling you? Or giving you a reason to care? I did get swept up in one sequence where he conducts Mahler's 2nd symphony. I learned afterward that it was a live performance by an orchestra cast for the film, and Cooper was really conducting. Which... ok, but it gets to the fact that this movie is more focused on impressing me with Cooper's acting and direction than it is with exploring who Lenny Bernstein actually was and what his music and music career were about.

I had been thinking "at least it's not as bad as Bohemian Rhapsody" when it comes to telling the story of a great artist's complicated sexual life... but the more I read now afterwards, the more I wonder if maybe it's just as bad.
posted by dnash at 11:54 AM on December 30, 2023

This movie can be summed up for me by the scene where, just a few scenes after Carey Mulligan's impassioned monologue where she yells at Bernstein about neglecting her throughout their whole marriage and how she deserves better the same way her children deserve better, and how it's not love in his heart but hatred, she basically says "just kidding". It's a movie with nothing to say, it pulls every one of its punches. To begin the movie with the quotation "A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them; and its essential meaning is in the tension between the contradictory answers" is a bold choice when you're not going to either ask or answer any questions.

Lots of what I thought were bizarre directing/cinematography choices (let's shoot this scene entirely backlit so we can't see the actors' faces) though the acting was good throughout at least.
posted by matcha action at 6:45 AM on January 2

"Somewhere during it I started asking myself, if you came into this not knowing who Leonard Bernstein was and why he was important and interesting, is this movie telling you? Or giving you a reason to care?"

For my wife and myself, the answer was "No.". We started making jokes about how his pointing was the world standard in pointing at musicians, and openly wondering why the movie seemed so uninterested in his composing and playing.

I would say I went in knowing the name and vaguely what he was known for, and my wife went in cold.

Really good aging make-up/vfx on Bradley Cooper though.
posted by joelhunt at 9:19 AM on January 8

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