Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan in a colorful story of genius and love.  In cinemas: “The Maestro”

After nearly 20 years in the film industry, Bradley Cooper slowly felt that acting and producing work was no longer enough for him. He really wanted to try himself as a director and screenwriter. In 2018, he achieved his dream by standing on either side of the camera on the set of the movie “A Star Is Born.” The story of a retired country music star and a little-known talented singer, featuring Lady Gaga, turned out to be a hit. The creators received an Academy Award for the song “The Shallow” and seven nominations for the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including: in the acting categories for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay. However, when it comes to his next film, Cooper says he’s been waiting for this opportunity his whole life. This came shortly after the release of A Star Is Born. Steven Spielberg told him that he was planning to make a film about Leonard Bernstein and suggested to him that he would like to see him in the lead role. In the end, he abandoned this intention, but Bradley had already taken the bait. He was fascinated by the music and personality of the legendary American composer of Jewish origin. Spielberg agreed to take up his idea. He himself became a co-producer of the picture.

The screenplay for “Maestro,” co-written by Cooper and Josh Singer, covers several decades of Bernstein’s life. We meet him as assistant conductor Artur Rudzinski, who unexpectedly receives an offer he can’t refuse – he conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as a replacement for another artist. The concert at Carnegie Hall brings Bernstein to the attention of the music community, opening the door to his worldwide career. However, we are watching this in the background. The creators put Lenny’s relationship with actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn at the forefront. The couple married in 1951 and had three children – Jimmy, Nina and Alexander. They shared a feeling of complete acceptance of their partner. Felicia knew that her husband was bisexual and had affairs with men. As long as he hid it, she didn’t blame him. When he stopped and rumors about his love life started reaching the youngest member of the family, something broke inside her. Lenny began to appear to her as selfish, willing to sacrifice everything for his own needs, an artist who relished his power over his listeners.

Cooper’s picture is not a typical biopic. It does not present the composer’s life with documentary accuracy. The action jumps forward many years, but there are no key dates here. What matters most of them are the emotions of the characters.

A wonderful documentary could be made about Bernstein’s life. Some of these films have actually been made, as there is no shortage of archival material dedicated to this creator. However, I decided to talk about its impact on people. Sound, image, colours, production value, plot – all these components make up the film. I felt I could tell the story of Bernstein’s achievements through means other than history. His music guides the viewer through the film. I wanted to take care of that legacy. I started thinking about the visual layer very early on. This is what interests me about being a filmmaker

– Bradley said in an interview with The New Yorker.

The director had great support from Bernstein’s descendants, who trusted him from the beginning and provided him with access to the family archives.

Without them, this film would not have existed. They stayed nearby the whole time. They were involved in pre-production work. They were with us during the shooting of the scenes and after the shooting. They came to my house to watch parts of it. They were really great. We couldn’t come to the Venice Film Festival, where the film was screened in the main competition, but people sent us videos of viewers “performing” over the end credits. They did it with such joy that I felt we had accomplished our mission. It was better than if we were actually there

– he recalls in the series “Oscar Academy Conversation.”

Carey Mulligan starred alongside Cooper. The British actress created an accurate image of a strong and self-conscious woman who gave up her career ambitions for many years for the sake of love. “I found so many wonderful things about Felicia. First, the feeling that she could have lived a life she didn’t have. We don’t know who she would have been if she hadn’t met Lenny. She came to New York full of passion, excited about the work. She has successfully followed her own path. Then, unexpectedly, she met him. They became each other’s world, but of course that relationship pushed her career to the background,” she noted in Variety. Bradley added that he and Mulligan felt part of the composer’s family. “We shared something special. It’s hard to even express it. It was as if Bernstein had been with us all this time. His energy reached me in a strange way. I feel as if I knew him.” – He admitted on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

“Maestro” has just arrived in Polish cinemas, and as of December 20, you’ll be able to watch it on Netflix. The cast also included, among others: Jeremy Strong, Michael Urie, Maya Hawke, Sam Nivola, and Gideon Glick.

Source:, section

Republic TV

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