Arriving at Picturehouse Central in London’s West End, the two coordinated in unfussy black ensembles, with Cooper in a black hoodie and Mulligan in a boxy, oversized blazer.
Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan coordinate in simple black ensembles at the London premiere of Maestro held at Picturehouse Central in London’s West End on November December 1, 2023 (Credit: PA Images / INSTARimages)
Cooper, who is currently romantically linked with supermodel Gigi Hadid, was all smiles while posing on the red carpet with his arm wrapped around his co-star Carey Mulligan.
Often pictured in glamorous and daring red-carpet ensembles, Mulligan opted for quiet elegance this time around, looking unimpressive in a modest outfit consisting of a brown turtleneck, matching loose-fitting pants, and a black blazer.
She wore her blonde bob in soft waves, with one side tucked behind her ear to showcase her understated tiny hoop earrings. A pair of square-toed black shoes completed her rather drab red carpet appearance.
Carey Mulligan fails to impress in a brown turtleneck top, matching loose-fitting pants, and an oversized black blazer (Credit: PA Images / INSTARimages)
Maestro: A Musical Journey into the Complicated Love Story Between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre
Maestro looks into the professional and private life of acclaimed conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein and his complicated relationship with his wife Felicia Montealegre, a Costa Rican-Chilean actress.
It covers everything from his early years as the New York Philharmonic assistant conductor to his affairs with both men and women.
The biopic begins with Leonard playing some melancholic piano pieces, including one inspired by his late spouse, Felicia, while being interviewed in his home in 1987. He expresses his longing for his wife, whose presence continues to linger in the residence.
Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan star as Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre in the biopic Maestro (Credit: Netflix)
The scene later transitions back to where Bernstein meets Montealegre at a party in 1946. At the time, Bernstein was romantically involved with clarinetist David Oppenheim; however, his homosexuality was diverted after meeting aspiring actress Felicia Montealegre. The two marry and share three children: Jamie, Alexander, and Nina.
After Leonard’s success as a composer of multiple critically acclaimed Broadway musicals, including Candide and West Side Story, the couple begins to live a luxurious lifestyle. As years go by, Leonard’s affairs with men and alcohol and substance abuse severely damage their marriage.
Despite these and their frequent arguments, Leonard and Felicia remain married until Felicia passes away from lung cancer. Leonard and their children abandon their lavish home afterward.
The scene returns to 1987, where Bernstein is shown teaching the art of conducting, still partying, and having affairs with his much younger male students. It then goes back to the interview, where he admits that he misses Felicia before a memory of her from when they were younger appears in his mind.
Maestro follows the complicated love story between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre (Credit: Netflix)
Maestro is directed by Bradley Cooper from a screenplay he co-wrote with Josh Singer. Cooper also produced the film alongside Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, among others.
The film, billed as a drama and love story, premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival in September. It had a limited theatrical release on November 22 before streaming on Netflix on December 20.
Bradley Cooper Defends Antisemitic Prosthetic Nose
Maestro received positive reviews from critics, and it is anticipated to be a serious contender for several accolades this upcoming awards season. Bradley Cooper, who directed the movie and is impressive as young and old Bernstein, seems to have a good chance of winning.
But while Cooper was praised for his portrayal of the Jewish-American conductor Leonard Bernstein, the actor also faced backlash for wearing a prosthetic nose.
Following the release of the movie’s first images and teaser in August, critics quickly noticed Cooper’s use of a prosthetic nose, saying it was antisemitic. Hollywood Reporter’s Chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg called it “problematic” and referred to the movie as “ethical cosplay.”
Bradley receives backlash for wearing a prosthetic nose for his portrayal of Leonard Bernstein in Maestro (Credit: Netflix)
During an interview on CBS Mornings, Cooper discussed the issue and revealed that he initially considered not using the prosthetic.
“Nothing really catches me off guard. You never know what’s going to happen. The truth is, I’ve done this whole project out of love. And it’s so clear to me where I come from—my nose is very similar to Lenny’s, actually. The prosthetic is actually like a silk sheet,” he explained.
“I thought, ‘Maybe we don’t need to do it because we can take down time of prep.’ But it’s all about balance, and, you know, my lips are nothing like Lenny’s, and my chin. And so we had that, and it just didn’t look right [without the prosthetic].”
Bradley Cooper says it didn’t look right without the use of a prosthetic nose as he portrays Jewish-American conductor Leonard Bernstein (Credit: PA Images / INSTARimages)
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also came to the film’s defense and told People that it did not view the use of a prosthetic nose as antisemitic.
“Throughout history, Jews were often portrayed in antisemitic films and propaganda as evil caricatures with large, hooked noses. This film, which is a biopic on the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein, is not that.”
Bernstein’s children also showed their support for Cooper, saying, “It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use makeup to amplify his resemblance, and we’re perfectly fine with that. We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well.”
Carey Mulligan Faces Whitewashing Backlash for Playing Costa Rican-Chilean Felicia Montealegre
Like Cooper, the movie’s leading lady, Carey Mulligan, was also criticized for portraying Costa Rican-Chilean Felicia Montealegre.
The fact that Mulligan, a British actress, is portraying a well-known Latina, sparked objections from viewers and critics.
Love me some Carey Mulligan but once again, a Latino role – Chilean Felicia Montealegre – is in the hands of a White actress when Latina actresses are more than available. But people will say, "it's called acting" and not acknowledge it b/c why should we speak up for ourselves? pic.twitter.com/yFRzNY2SQ1
— Clayton Davis (@ByClaytonDavis) May 30, 2022
if we’re gonna praise carey mulligan in maestro than can we have the conversation that she’s a non latina playing a real life costa-rican woman?
— (holly jolly/chanukah sarah) سارة (@sarsaraaaaah) October 30, 2023
Ok I just found out that Carey Mulligan is ONCE AGAIN, playing a Latina character, in Maestro. Bernstein's wife was Chilean and Costa Rican apparently. The dumb and super unnecessary prosthetic nose he wears is not the only prob with that film.
— 🌜Alexa The Vampire Lover🌛 (@cosmosblue772) October 6, 2023
As of this writing, Mulligan has yet to address the whitewashing issue.