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Movie Review: Maestro" A Look at Leonard Bernstein's Life and Legacy

"Maestro," Bradley Cooper's sophomore directorial effort available on Netflix, dives into the life of Leonard Bernstein, the iconic American composer and conductor.

The film serves as a good introduction to Bernstein for newcomers like me, as, I didn't know anything about Leonard Bernstein. However the movie doesn't delve as deeply as it could have.

Cooper both directs and plays the title role in the film. His performance is undeniably strong, capturing Bernstein's flamboyant personality and passionate connection to music.

The makeup deserves a special mention, with the aging process portrayed convincingly especially near the end of the film. The film effectively weaves Bernstein's compositions throughout the narrative, allowing viewers to appreciate his musical genius firsthand.

The storytelling, however, is somewhat uneven. The portrayal of Bernstein's relationship with his wife, Felicia Montealegre, wonderfully played by Carey Mulligan, feels complex but occasionally confusing. The film explores Felicia's struggle with her husband's fame and her own artistic desires, but the back-and-forth arguments can be cryptic at times.

An interesting observation is the parallel the viewer might draw between "Maestro" and Cooper's previous directorial work, "A Star is Born." Both films explore the dynamic of a talented man overshadowed by a brilliant female partner. It's worth considering if it's an intentional theme or simply a recurring motif in Cooper's filmography. This remains to be seen.

The film doesn't shy away from hinting at Bernstein's inner struggles, particularly regarding his creative output. This introspective touch adds depth, but some may find it overshadows everything he did accomplish.

"Maestro" is certainly an entertaining and informative watch. It offers a glimpse into Bernstein's world and ignites curiosity about his vast contributions to music.

This movie was nominated for 7 Oscars including best picture, best director best actor and best actress. It didn't win anything. I felt sorry for Mr Bradley Cooper he campaigned hard for this movie.

While it might not be an Oscar winner, it's a commendable effort from Cooper and a worthwhile experience for fans of biographical dramas and classical music.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars.


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