All posts tagged: kind of creaky exposition

The Agony and Ecstasy of Leonard Bernstein

The Agony and Ecstasy of Leonard Bernstein

[ad_1] Bradley Cooper’s Maestro is a wonderful look at the composer that dives headfirst into his brilliant work and complicated inner life. Jason McDonald / Netflix November 30, 2023, 12:47 PM ET One early scene in Bradley Cooper’s Maestro delivers the kind of creaky exposition a viewer might expect from a major biographical film arriving in the thick of Oscar season. A young Leonard Bernstein (played by Cooper) is at lunch with one of his mentors, who suggests that he change his last name to something like “Burns” in order to seem less Jewish to a mainstream audience. It’s something that really happened, an example of the barriers that Bernstein had to break through in his career. But as dramatic material, the moment is presented as a piece of info to be dumped into the audience’s lap. Thankfully, Maestro, which was also directed by Cooper, is no staid biopic. Midway through this conversation, Bernstein asks his companion (and later wife), Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan), if she wants to leave. When she says yes, he grabs …