Directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, “Maestro” was unveiled at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, and will later be released in theatres and on Netflix.
"Maestro," the highly anticipated biopic of Leonard Bernstein directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, was premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2023. The film, described as “an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love,” explores the iconic composer’s relationship with wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, played by Carey Mulligan.
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Following the world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the film makes its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 2, held at David Geffen Hall, where Bernstein conducted for over a decade, and its UK premiere at the London Film Festival on October 10. "Maestro" will then have a limited theatrical release on November 22, and will begin streaming on Netflix on December 20.
The director’s statement as follows:
“Many opera and classical music albums were listened to in our house. I spent hours conducting an imaginary orchestra to the best of my 8-year-old ability. There was one recording of Leonard Bernstein on heavy rotation.
“So the pilot light I needed to make Maestro turned on many years before I actually came across the project. After doing a year of research on Lenny and the family and letting everything soak in, I realized the most interesting and relatable aspect to me was this marriage between Lenny and Felicia.
“It was an unorthodox, genuine love that I found endlessly intriguing. This is the story I wanted to tell. I am forever grateful to Jamie, Nina, and Alex for letting me into their family and their hearts. It has been one of the greatest joys of my career.”
Reviews of "Maestro":
"This is a complex and sophisticated picture, the kind of grown-up love story we see all too rarely these days, especially when it comes to starry, big-ticket moviemaking. It’s entertaining and robust and forthright; it’s also tremendously sad, not necessarily in a bring-your-hanky way, but in a deeper, more truthful way. This isn’t just a story about a selfish, eminently likable genius (though it’s partly that); it’s a picture that dives into the not-fully knowable complexities of love and desire."
"Cooper’s Maestro succeeds because it is candid about the sacrifices which art demands of its practitioners, and the sacrifices these practitioners demand of their families and partners."
"Maestro is a stunning portrait of the artist as a charismatic narcissist in thrall to a marriage he believes in yet can’t completely live up to. Most of the music we hear is Bernstein’s own, and its astringent rapture is the soundtrack to his anguish and ecstasy."
"Bradley Cooper is masterful as the composer Leonard Bernstein... an astonishingly beautiful film, by turns heartbreaking, tragic and tender."
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