Bradley Cooper is certainly not taking predictable routes for his directorial efforts –– and he’s already reaped some rewards.
His first movie as filmmaker behind (and in front of) the camera was ‘A Star is Born’, in which he starred alongside Lady Gaga, and that ended up with eight Oscar nominations, while Gaga took home a trophy for co-writing standout song ‘Shallow’.
And for his second film, he’s sticking with music and taking on an even more ambitious story –– a biopic of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein.
What’s the story of ‘Maestro’?
Cooper co-wrote the script for this one with Josh Singer, who won an Oscar for co-writing ‘Spotlight’.
According to Netflix’s official description, the new film “is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein (Carey Mulligan). A love letter to life and art, Maestro at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.”
The drama spans over 30 years, and chronicles Bernstein’s fascinating career. Though the throughline is the complex story of the marriage between Bernstein and Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, which faced challenges including his struggles with his sexuality.
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Who else is in ‘Maestro’?
The cast for this one also features Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Josh Hamilton, Scott Ellis, Gideon Glick, Sam Nivola, Alexa Swinton and Miriam Shor.
Who was Leonard Bernstein?
Bernstein is an iconic figure in American music –– he made his conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic aged 25 when he had to step in at short notice due to a colleague’s illness. He did so well his star was launched the next day when his feat made the front page of The New York Times.
He was blacklisted before being cleared of being a communist just before he composed the Oscar-nominated score for ‘On the Waterfront’, and he was an activist in the civil rights movement, and outspoken on issues including ending the Vietnam War. Among his other film music achievements were ‘West Side Story’ and ‘On the Town’, though his scores and stage musical work has shown up in many movies.
What has Bradley Cooper said about making the film?
Here’s what Cooper had to say at a Focus Features roundtable to Cate Blanchett about stepping up to the podium to conduct in character:
“Having worked on a project in the same world [as ‘TÁR’], the level of respect that I have for that world and that podium, it is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. And it’s so odd because so many people — I don’t know if you’ve come across this — but people that I have in the last five years have said, ‘Well, what is it that conductors even do?’ And my answer is, ‘It’s the absolute hardest thing you could ever want to do. It is impossible.’”
‘Maestro’ will be in select theaters on November 22nd before landing on Netflix on December 20th.
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