Monday 1 January 2024

Movie Review: Maestro (2023)

Genre: Biographical Drama
Director: Bradley Cooper
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Sarah Silverman
Running Time: 129 minutes

Synopsis: In 1943, Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) is catapulted to fame when he receives his big break conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra. Although he prefers homosexual relationships, he falls in love and marries Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). As the decades pass and the family grows, Bernstein's career in the spotlight is marked by endless socializing and episodes of infidelity with other men, testing Felicia's limits.

What Works Well: Some of Bradley Cooper's directorial touches are seamlessly smooth, and the few concert scenes are animated with gusto. Carey Mulligan embodies Felicia's tolerance with stalwart fatigue. 

What Does Not Work As Well: The script (co-written by Cooper and Josh Singer) ignores what made Bernstein a celebrated and innovative talent, and equally bypasses the creative process. Instead the focus is on tiresome and overly familiar couple dynamics beset by infidelity and then sickness. The portrayal of a perpetually smoking and nasal-sounding Bernstein staggering from one social gathering to the next lustfully chasing after the next attractive man is remarkably tedious.

Conclusion: Lacking the foundational soul of greatness, the pretentiousness is corrosive.

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