Maestro hits the right notes out of Venice Film Festival

Bradley Cooper may be on his way to getting his first Best Director Oscar nomination, as Maestro has earned major praise out of Venice.


The dueling film festivals of Telluride and Venice are shaping up once against to host some serious awards contenders. Hot off of the Telluride Film Festival’s successful screening of Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders, the Venice Film Festival’s premiere of Bradley Cooper’s Maestro show just the sort of praise we were all expecting…despite the controversies surrounding it.

Reviews coming out of the weekend premiere of Maestro have heaped praise on star, director and co-writer Cooper, who plays legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, and Carey Mulligan, who plays Bernstein’s longtime wife Felicia Montealegre. Many have pointed out the overall complexity of both figures, which propels much of the film’s heart.

To date, Bradley Cooper has been Oscar-nominated in four different categories with a total of nine nods: Best Actor (three times), Best Supporting Actor (once), Best Adapted Screenplay (once), and Best Picture (four times, most recently for producing Nightmare Alley and Joker, the film that won the Venice International Film Festival in 2019). The odds point to this number rising and Cooper earning a spot on the ballot in a coveted fifth category: Best Director. This is Cooper’s sophomore feature after 2018’s A Star Is Born.

As with many positive reviews fresh from film festivals, the acclaim for Maestro will likely hold upon its general release. Maestro will have a limited theatrical run beginning on November 22nd before hitting Netflix on December 20th.

Negative feedback for Maestro came ahead of its release, with some saying that Bradley Cooper’s prosthetic nose was an example of “Jewface”, a term that is far more disgraceful than the makeup featured in the film. Soon after, the Anti-Defamation League – which actively works to stop hate crimes and promote civil rights – spoke up, saying that this was not an example of antisemitism.

The plot of Maestro, as per Netflix: “This towering, fearless love story chronicles the lifelong relationship of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.” The supporting cast includes Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Michael Urie, and more. It is co-written by Josh Singer, who also penned Spotlight, The Post and First Man.

Are you excited for Bradley Cooper’s Maestro? How many Academy Awards do you think it will end up being nominated for? Give us your thoughts below!