Friday new releases: 22 December 2023
Maestro is on Netflix
Firstly, for the free subscribers who won’t see this if I put it below the paywall, this is the last newsletter for 2023. I don’t publish on weekends and public holidays and I’m giving myself days off for the in-between days, too.
The next newsletter will be on Wednesday 3 January.
After missing out an a very tentative (to say the least) cinema release, we finally got to watch Bradley Cooper’s follow-up to A Star Is Born last night and it was quite an experience.
It’s the time of year to be in guest-mode and one of our houseguests’ appreciation of movies is greatly enhanced by closed captions/subtitles.
This is not common for us. We prefer subtitles to dubbing of foreign language films and tv, but don’t use the English captions for English. (Perhaps we should. I’ll have something to say about the lack of dynamic range and compression of dialogue, even in streaming Atmos soundtracks, at a later date.)
So we watched Maestro with the captions on and it was very different – to the extent that K and I both said we needed to watch it again soon without the captions. That’s not to say that it was a bad experience, just unusual.
The important thing to note is that the film is first rate, despite some lukewarm reviews from elsewhere. It’s a thoughtful, artistically-drawn, superbly crafted portrait of a complicated relationship between two creative people. While it didn’t quite manage to untangle all of the complications of composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and actress Felecia Monteleagre (Carey Mulligan), it gets as close as anyone who wasn’t there has a right to.