‘Maestro’ Receives Seven Minute Ovation & Rave Reviews at Venice Film Festival

By Francisco Salazar

The Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro” has its world premiere on Sept. 2 at the Venice Film Festival to a rousing standing ovation.

The premiere saw Leonard Bernstein’s three children, Jamie, Nina Maria, and Alexander in attendance alongside its producers and Metropolitan Opera Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

Following the film’s premiere, the movie received a seven-minute standing ovation, and rave reviews, and saw Bernstein’s three children dance and conduct to their father’s Candide overture which played over the credits.

Going into the premiere, the film sparked controversy over Bradley Cooper’s prosthetic nose with some calling it Anti-semitic while the Bernstein family defended the makeup. During the press conference makeup artist Kazu Hiro acknowledged the controversy and said, “I wasn’t expecting it to happen; I feel sorry if I hurt some people’s feelings. My goal was —and Bradley’s goal was — to portray Lenny as authentic[ally] as possible. Lenny had a really iconic look that everybody knows. There are so many pictures out there because he’s photogenic, too — such a great person and also inspired so many people. So, we wanted to respect the look, too, on the inside. So that’s why we did several different tests and went through lots of decisions and that was the outcome in the movie. That was our [actual] intention.”

The movie, which stars Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan, did not have any actors present due to the SAG Strike, and Cooper, who also directs opted not to attend in solidarity with the strike.

“Maestro” is set to open in limited theaters on Nov. 22 and will stream on Netflix on Dec. 20, 2023.