The Oscars are just around the corner, and one film that’s certainly getting some awards buzz Maestro, the music biopic about the life of Leonard Bernstein. Written, directed and starring Bradley Cooper, it focuses on both Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre and their marriage and relationship over the years. The A Star Is Born star’s passion project has long been seen as one to watch this awards season, so if you’ve yet to watch it yourself, here’s everything you need to know:

What is Maestro about?

Maestro is a film about the legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, one of the most revered of the 20th century, but it’s not quite your standard music biopic, with it being as much about his wife Felicia (Carey Mulligan) than the composer himself. Much like another high-profile biopic from 2023, Oppenheimer, it’s filmed partly in black and white and partly in colour.

Maestro

Produced by both Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg the movie jumps through Bernstein’s life from the age of 25 in the 1940s until the age of 70 in the 1980s.

The young Bernstein is already finding success and acclaim for his brilliant conducting skills with the New York Philharmonic, and this forms the background to his first meeting with Felicia Monteleagre, an aspiring actress whom Leonard quickly falls for. Leonard is already in an on-and-off relationship with David Oppenheim (Matt Bomer), and this is one of the many elements that will come to complicate his life with Felicia, along with his dedication to the art of conducting.

Who else stars and what else do we know?

Bradley Cooper underwent something of a transformation for the role, spending over six years (!) learning to conduct as Bernstein did, with some of the key Bernstein performances recreated onscreen, as well as using prosthetics. But it’s not just Cooper’s performance in the spotlight: Carey Mulligan’s performance as Felicia is just as important, and just as good, and it’s these turns that make Maestro a worthy and emotional watch. Expect both of them to be honoured as nominees at the Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress, competing with the likes of Cillian Murphy and Lily Gladstone.

As well as our main couple, Maestro also stars Vincenzo Amato (Red Notice), Michael Urie (Shrinking), Brian Klugman (Bones), and Sarah Silverman (Marry Me) and Maya Hawke (Asteroid City) as Leonard’s sister Shirley and daughter Jamie respectively. The biopic is produced for Netflix, and is available to stream there now.

Watch the trailer below:


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