Bradley Cooper co-wrote, directed, and stars in this look at the life of the great composer Leonard Bernstein, particularly his relationship with wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). While it does little to examine (or educate us about) Bernstein’s immeasurable cultural impact—‘West Side Story’, for example, is barely mentioned in passing—it does give us plenty of insight into the man himself, and in that respect, it works exceedingly well. Cooper and Mulligan both turn in Oscar-worthy performances, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique should get plenty of attention, too. It may not be what you expect in terms of a cinematic biopic, but ‘Mastro’ is a definitive work of art about an astounding man.

4.5/5 stars