MAESTRO – Review by Diane Carson

In Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein comes most vividly and euphorically to life when he’s conducting. The same may well apply co-writer/director Cooper who so comprehensively embodies Bernstein that he all but jumps off the screen during performances. It is thrilling to experience Cooper channeling such rapture throughout his and wife Felicia Montealegre’s tangled theatrical lives.

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MAESTRO – Review by T. J. Callahan

There is creative directing and editing, phenomenal makeup, a soaring score and flawless acting from the entire cast, but Bradley Cooper as famed maestro Leonard Bernstein and Cary Mulligan as his supportive yet suffering actress wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn, are pitch perfect. Cooper gave his all to the roles he played in front and behind the camera being personally given the director’s wand from co-producer Steven Spielberg and spending six years learning to use the conductor’s baton in order to film a six minute London Symphony scene live.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 28, 2022: THE CONDUCTOR

Tenacious, focused, persistent, and tireless in her pursuit of her dream, Marin Alsop is the subject of Bernadette Wegenstein’s upbeat documentary The Conductor. The first woman to lead a major American symphony orchestra, Alsop has fought tooth and nail for every achievement in her impressive career, subverting the patriarchy as often as possible and using her success to lift others from traditionally marginalized groups up along with her. Her story is absolutely compelling.

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THE CONDUCTOR – Review by Loren King

The Conductor is an illuminating portrait of Marin Alsop, distinguished orchestra conductor, protégée of Leonard Bernstein, and the first woman to serve as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Bernadette Wegenstein’s supremely entertaining film succeeds as a compelling portrait of the artist. But it is about so much more: an inside look at the rigors and politics of the classical music world that denied Alsop opportunities because of her gender and how the low-key but tenacious Alsop achieved her dream despite the obstacles.

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THE CONDUCTOR – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Watching Bernadette Wegenstein’s doc The Conductor is an uplifting and educational treat as we get to know Marin Alsop. Back in 2007, she broke the glass ceiling of classical music when she achieved her dream of becoming the first ever female to be chosen to be a music director for a major American orchestra — namely the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She also became the first woman to conduct the Sao Paulo Orchestra as well as the first woman to conduct BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. In 2020, she became the first female ever appointed as chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony.

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THE CONDUCTOR – Review by Jennifer Merin

Using a wealth of archival and recently recorded footage with Marin Alsop’s on camera interviews and her voice over narration, docmaker Bernadette Wegenstein follows the extraordinarily gifted and utterly charming maestra from her childhood in a musical household through her studies at Yale, her days as a violinist in a swing band, her education at Julliard and tutelage under the legendary Leonard Bernstein to her current status as one of the few and arguably the most highly regarded and sought after women wielding batons in the world’s classical music realm.

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THE CONDUCTOR – Review by Leslie Combemale

So many people think that the fight for equality is over, and women are welcome with open arms in all fields of endeavor. Yet, it was only in 2007 that The Conductor subject Marin Alsop became the first woman to hold the position of music director with a major American orchestra, becoming the 12th with the title at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. To this day, she is still the only female conductor heading a major American orchestra.

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