The trailer, however, has sparked debate over the use of a nose prosthetic.

International streamer Netflix has released the trailer for the upcoming movie about American conductor, composer and pianist Leonard Bernstein starring Bradley Cooper in the lead role.

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“Maestro” will be Cooper’s second directorial effort after “A Star is Born,” in which he starred alongside Lady Gaga. He is also credited as a producer in this film and will star alongside Carey Mulligan. 

Set to debut globally on the platform on December 20, the film will follow Bernstein and his 25-year marriage to Felicia Montealegre played by Mulligan.

“Jewface” Controversy

In the hours since its release, the trailer has sparked an online debate about the use of a nose prosthetic which many claim plays into harmful Jewish stereotypes and that the one Cooper is wearing was exaggerated for the film. 

‘It seems completely unnecessary to have gone in that direction given the uncanny resemblance,’ one user said ‘the real Leonard Bernstein did not have the funny nose that Bradley Cooper is wearing in Maestro.’

One of the biggest critics is Sarah Silverman, who ironically also stars in this film. In 2021, Silverman criticised the casting of Kathryn Han who is not Jewish to play Joan Rivers.

Sharing her thoughts on a podcast, Silverman said, “Jewface” is ‘defined as when a non-Jew portrays a Jew with the Jewishness front and centre, often with makeup or changing of features, big fake nose, all the New York-y or Yiddish-y inflexion’

She further asked, “In a time when the importance of representation is seen as so essential and so front and center, why does ours constantly get breached even today in the thick of it?”

The movie also stars Gideon Glick, Gabe Fazio, Matt Bomer, Sarah Silverman, William Hill, Nick Blaemire, Eric Parkinson, Oscar Pavlo, Tim Rogan and Mallory Portnoy. Maya Hawke plays Bernstein’s daughter Jamie. Sam Nivola plays his son, Alexander.

Alongside Cooper, producers include Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.


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