Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s deeply personal and powerful film about Leonard Bernstein is a hot ticket at the Venice Film Festival, premiering last night, as it happens, on a very hot and humid evening.

It took me a few minutes to settle in and let myself be taken into this intense and sometimes brilliant movie.

Cooper masterfully uses his strong filmmaking skills to pull us into Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre’s love affair and marriage, which from the outset is far from conventional. He is bisexual and we are thus confronted with the intimacy of sexual complexity within a relationship and family.

The portrayal of the roller coaster ride of loving a brilliant and often selfish artist makes up the central theme of the film and does so with great artistry.

Bernstein’s homosexuality is, from the outset, accepted by Felicia (Carey Mulligan, who gives a breath taking performance) but eventually she is worn down, as are we, by what she calls his ‘sloppiness’… and of course his narcissism.

There is much human emotional truth to Maestro. It is a study of love—ambition and life. Let’s call it the BIG life of a Maestro and the tricks of fate, if you want…

Carey Mulligan, as I mentioned, is extraordinary in this film, and Cooper—as Bernstein, and also directing—proves himself a masterfull filmmaker and a wonderful actor.

This is powerful stuff. Be warned and then go watch it. Maestro is a MUST. A rare and brilliantly piece of film artistry. Brave of Netflix indeed. Chapeau!