MAESTRO (2023)

Fifty minutes into Bradley Cooper's MAESTRO, his directorial and starring-role biopic of composer Leonard Bernstein, he's discussing a possible book written about all his accomplishments, from teaching children on television to his best remembered work, West Side Story...

And yet we never got to witness any of it, instead  listening to he and classy wife Felicia Montealegre (a put-upon Carey Mulligan) within an intellectually-rambling romance from picnics to parties (in-between sporadic bisexual trysts) and not much else about the man that Cooper seems to have more fun portraying as a flamboyant and sophisticated, British-mannered, chain-smoking proto-beatnik than celebrating the legendary musical genius built right into the title... And aesthetically Cooper's cinematic influences... from LENNY to RAGING BULL to CAPOTE... are on full avant-garde display but with nothing behind it, really, except mere window dressing... with tinted glass. Grade: D

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