Maestro - Sophomore Success for Bradley Cooper
Written by Zoe Crombie
Stars turned directors are an interesting breed. On the one hand you have figures like Sofia Coppola, Greta Gerwig, and Ron Howard who seemingly found their calling and left acting for good, while on the other you have performers like Orson Welles and Clint Eastwood who are perfectly comfortable directing themselves. It’s a tricky line to balance, and most ultimately tend toward one side or the other, which is what makes Bradley Cooper’s career trajectory from heartthrob to serious filmmaker all the more compelling.
Following his directorial debut A Star Is Born in which he stayed put in his acting comfort zone as a grizzled country star with a heart of gold, his sophomore feature Maestro is somewhat more adventurous. Charting the life of famed composer Leonard Bernstein, played with the help of some protheses by Cooper, and his relationship with wife Felicia Montealgre, a role performed by Carey Mulligan, this is an ambitious film that plays with grandiose visual techniques and performances to portray the life of a musical genius. Framed through a false interview with a 70-year-old Bernstein, it’s a reflective, deeply personal piece of cinema with a clear adoration for its subject.
Maestro has all the hallmarks of an awards season darling, from nominations at the Golden Globes to controversies aplenty – expect to hear a lot about this one in the coming months.