It’s been a minute since we’ve checked in with Bradley Cooper, by which I mean, it’s been two months since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 came out and Coop was at the Met Gala. But B Coop is in Los Angeles, and he got photographed at “a studio” (per the photographers), looking stubbly. 


He’s hard at work on Maestro, his passion project biopic of composer Leonard Bernstein. He stars as Bernstein, he co-wrote the script (with Josh Singer, who won an Oscar for Spotlight, and also co-wrote First Man, a vastly underappreciated film, I’m still mad that dumb flag controversy affected that film), and he’s directing. Maestro is B Coop’s next great hope for an Oscar.

But he’ll be in a VERY crowded field. It’s way too early to handicap Oscar odds, but we know the big titles that will be involved: Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer (Nolan would really have to sh-t the bed to f-ck this one up), Ridley Scott’s Napoleon (he would also have to sh-t the bed), Dune: Part Two, Air (if the season turns out soft). And then there’s the “we’ll see how it turns out crowd”, of which Maestro is part: Next Goal Wins, The Color Purple, Michael Mann’s Ferrari, Poor Things (depends on how weird it really is), Challengers, Magazine Dreams (which may or may not be impacted by Jonathan Majors’ August domestic violence trial). And all of those films—and any number not yet dated but expected on the fall festival circuit—will have to get through Celine Song’s remarkable Past Lives, too.


This could be a VERY competitive year, not least because it will pit a number of titanic filmmakers against each other. Some combination of Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg (as a producer of The Color Purple), Michael Mann, and Denis Villeneuve are going to be in the mix, never mind Celine Song and maybe Greta Gerwig, if Barbie really delivers and can ride a swell of goodwill like Top Gun: Maverick did last year. Maestro is going to have to be a really excellent film to stand out this year.