MAESTRO is the straight-to-Netflix biopic of composer, conductor, music educator etc. Leonard Bernstein. It stars and is directed by Bradley Cooper (THE A-TEAM), who co-wrote it with Josh Singer (SPOTLIGHT, THE POST, FIRST MAN). Cooper is no stranger to playing troubled artists, of course, having captured the world’s imagination as Leon Kaufman, the death obsessed photographer in THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, but this is his most show-offy acting piece ever. He plays gay Jewish upper class intellectual, does a voice and accent, ages about 45 years with varying levels of prosthetics and padding, plays piano, conducts a real orchestra, even throws in an imagined dance sequence just to give himself more lessons to have to take. I’m surprised he never speaks German, rides a horse or skydives.
As a director he’s also flexing and back-flipping with numerous large scale sequences, detailed depictions of multiple time periods, shooting in both black-and-white and color, and occasionally sliding between realism and fantasy. It shows so much effort and enthusiasm it’s sure to annoy the shit out of many, but fuck ‘em. I enjoyed it. (read the rest of this shit…)