Maestro is a powerful film on more levels than one. It follows the heartwarming yet tragic life of Leonard Bernstein, a talented composer who changed the world. He was a loving father, husband, friend, and genius; I couldn’t think of a better life for Cooper to battle and portray so nuancedly. The film really took a toll on me; even a week later, now writing it, my heart still is jumping back and forth both for its technical, performance, and reality of the story. It’s a film that goes way beyond a biopic and we can see through both Bernsteins music and life that it was filled with every emotion.
I’m going to start with the star of the show, Bradley Cooper. To see him play this role in such depth and accuracy, all thoughts of The Hangover completely evaporated from thought. His presence on screen really achieved how big Leonard Bernstein was as an artist; you can’t draw your eyes away from him, and I think that’s precisely what a biopic should do when conveying a name so large. I had never really heard of Bernstein before watching the film; all I knew was that he was a famous composer with such charisma. Now, after researching a bit more about him, Cooper was the perfect pick because of their identical look of them, their accents, and most importantly, the way that they both focus so closely on their craft.⠀
Maestro also had another shining star performance, and that was from Carey Mulligan, an actress who I’ve always struggled to like or enjoy due to her shy or little characters (however, I did also really enjoy her performance in Saltburn.) At the turning point of the movie, she hightens the emotions with her tactical acting; every movement and breath brings the film to reality. She made a biopic that could easily forget the truth of the story, an unforgettable factor of the film. There were multiple lenses that escaped just the focus on Bernstein; his life was more than just his work; it was about his family and relationships with the people around him. They’re absolutely captivating.
Another thing that was really captivating about Maestro and an element I don’t think we can overlook the cinematography of this film; it is absolutely stunning and reminded me a lot of Blonde. I really enjoy this new style within Biopics, where we use black and white symbolically to juxtapose the colours. In my mind, it not only represents the past but it also represents the truth when everything was black and white. When everything feels stuck in a certain time, it also has a beauty and authentic feel of nostalgia. Meanwhile, the colour, which is on the top, represents the present and also shows the vibrancy of real life, the way that nothing is a fact yet. It’s still free to change and still very real.⠀
In conclusion, I thoroughly relished the immersive experience of Maestro for various compelling reasons; nevertheless, upon contemplating the prospect of revisiting it in the present moment, armed with a wealth of knowledge about its intricate details, I anticipate deriving even greater enjoyment from the film. The underlying catalyst for the widespread admiration of Maestro appears to be anchored in the outstanding performances delivered by Cooper and Mulligan, who exude an Oscar-worthy brilliance that ignites the screen. Following this cinematic masterpiece, the duo seems poised to ascend another rung on the ladder of their illustrious careers, with their eyes shimmering in anticipation of coveted Oscars. Their stellar contributions breathe life into the film, and I am inclined to proclaim that this might just be the pinnacle of excellence in both Cooper and Mulligan’s distinguished careers thus far.
What did you guys think of Maestro⠀
Who is your pick for Best Actor of the Year?