I loved A Star Is Born. It elicited in me an essay so deeply and uncomfortably personal that it still sits in our drafts. I don’t know that Cooper necessarily deserved an Oscar for Best Actor or Best Adapted Screenplay in 2019, but I thought he at least deserved a nomination for directing. I also would have given it Best Picture over Green Book.
After going home empty-handed (again), Cooper went back to the drawing board, seemingly more determined than ever to win both an Oscar for acting and directing. What better way than to direct a movie that he also stars in about the relationship between Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre. They were engaged in 1946, broke it off while Montealegre dated Hollywood actor Richard Hart for several years before she and Bernstein were engaged again (and subsequently married). They had three children. The thing about that is: Bernstein was gay. In fact, he left his wife to have an affair with a man, only to return to care for her as she died.
In other words: It’s going to be a weeper. It’s also going to attract controversy because Bradley Cooper is not Jewish and he’s playing a Jewish man, and everyone knows that the only actor who is still allowed to do that is Tony Shalhoub. Cooper is also not gay, and he is playing a gay man.
It’s still going to get all the nominations.
Discover the fearless love story between cultural icon Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.— Netflix (@netflix) August 15, 2023
Maestro — starring Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper — is in select theaters November 22 and on Netflix December 20. pic.twitter.com/fWT2YoRzef