Thursday, January 4, 2024

"Maestro" Starring Bradley Cooper

        For a New Year's Day treat, TD and I went to see "Maestro" starring Bradley Cooper as the great American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Wow, that's what I call a satisfying entertainment. I do recommend it. If you are in New York City, do go see it at the Paris Theater on 58th Street, which Netflix has recently renovated. The big screen is brilliant and the sound is incredible
     We bought tickets online as one does and planned to get there a little late to avoid all the previews as one does but when we arrived and slipped into our seats the picture was already starting! I guess no cheesy previews at the Paris Theater, note to self. I was surprised that the seats were not big and spacious and tilt back like you find in movie theaters now, but they were still comfortable. 
    Bradley Cooper wrote, directed, produced and stars in the movie about the great musician. In the first scene he appears as a 70-year-old Bernstein, tanned and wrinkled, and it took my breath away to realize  that it was actually Bradley Cooper, the makeover was so complete. Though Bernstein of course had an amazing career, this picture is mostly about his private life -- his marriage to actress Filicia Montealgro, played luminously by Carey Mulligan, and their children including a daughter played by Maya Hawke, who is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. 
    Ok, I have an Uma Thurman story. Back in the day when I worked in the Accessories Room at Bergdorf Goodman selling hats and gloves to the ladies of the Upper East Side, Uma Thurman came in for a scarf. I showed her a beautiful gossamer cashmere and silk mushroom-colored scarf and she lowered her head and wrapped the scarf around and then lifted her gaze to reveal those big, gorgeous movie star eyes directed right at me. 
     Leonard Bernstein was famously bisexual. When I first moved to New York, my friend David hung around in Bernstein's gay circle. The movie recounts how after awhile this took a toll on Bernstein's marriage and his family. While it plums his personal life, I would like to have seen in the movie more about his professional life and the challenges and triumphs of creating his masterworks including "Candide," "West Side Story," and "Mass." There was a fun bit at the beginning of the movie that included actors playing Jerome Robbins and Aaron Copland. Betty Comden and Adolf Green show up at a party. Stephen Sondheim is mentioned. I would love to have seen more scenes like this but thoroughly enjoyed the story including a long, stunning scene at Ely Cathedral in England with Copper/Bernstein conducting Mahler's majestic Resurrection Symphony. Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan are both wonderful in this picture, and of course the music is gorgeous in this tribute to an American genius. I say Oscars all around.

1 comment: