With his new film "Maestro",Bradley Cooper has shown that he is an excellent director

Bradley Cooper excellently played the great conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein

by Sededin Dedovic
With his new film "Maestro",Bradley Cooper has shown that he is an excellent director
© Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Bradley Cooper, following the success of his hit movie "A Star is Born," has once again showcased his prowess as a director with his latest film, "Maestro." The film made its premiere at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, and critics have showered it with praise, commending Cooper for his directorial skills as well as his compelling performance in the leading role.

In "Maestro," Bradley Cooper undergoes a stunning transformation with the help of spectacular makeup and wigs to embody the legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Critics have lauded his portrayal, describing it as honest and vivid, filled with compelling dialogue and tasteful design.

The film primarily revolves around the life of Leonard Bernstein and delves into his complex and troubled relationship with his wife, Costa Rican actress and activist Felicia Montealegre Cohn, portrayed by Carey Mulligan.

Mulligan's performance has been noted for its sharp English composure and self-deprecating common sense. Throughout the film, Felicia grapples with the realization that her husband's immense fame has overshadowed her, along with the humiliation of his numerous indiscretions with young men.

Cooper and Mulligan navigate a range of emotions in the film, delivering extended and overlapping dialogue scenes that captivate the audience. Before the film's premiere, Bradley Cooper faced criticism for portraying a Jewish character, Leonard Bernstein, despite not being of Jewish descent.

The use of a large prosthetic nose to achieve this look was a point of contention. However, many critics have pointed out that within the context of the film, the prosthetic nose becomes inconsequential, as the storytelling takes precedence.

In fact, some have suggested that there might be a form of karmic-cinematic justice in comparison to Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Virginia Woolf in "The Hours," where Kidman wore a much more exaggerated fake nose to play a character known for her anti-Semitism.

Ultimately, "Maestro" is hailed as a successful film by critics

Regarding Bradley Cooper's performance, The Guardian notes his uncanny resemblance to the great composer, particularly in his portrayal of Bernstein's striking upper teeth, which are prominently displayed when Bernstein passionately leans toward the conductor's podium with a wide grin.

While some critics mention the potential narcissism that can come with such a meticulously crafted impersonation, Cooper's theatrical technique is undeniably powerful. Nevertheless, there are moments when Cooper's intense portrayal on the piano keyboard may inadvertently evoke comparisons to Michael Douglas playing Liberace.

A notable stylistic element of "Maestro" is its visual progression as the story unfolds. The film begins with black and white scenes, capturing Bernstein's youth, and gradually transitions to a more colorful palette as the musician ages, providing a visual metaphor for the evolution of Bernstein's life and career.

Ultimately, "Maestro" is hailed as a successful film by critics. It skillfully delves into the sacrifices that the world of art demands from its practitioners, as well as the sacrifices these artists, like Leonard Bernstein, impose on their families and partners.

Bradley Cooper's directorial and acting talents shine in this narrative, making "Maestro" a compelling exploration of the complexities of artistic genius and its personal costs.