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  • Modest by intent, The Maestro gives the spotlight to the true talent behind the scenes, whose passion for art and pursuit of excellence have played a key role in the history of cinematic arts, but often received little to no recognition because film credit was taken by others.

    Florentine composer and legendary Hollywood music teacher Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Xander Berkeley) composed/scored over 200 films, and mentored, tutored, and influenced the biggest names in Post-WWII cinematic music composition, his list of pupils including John Williams, Henry Mancini, Andre' Previn, Nelson Riddle, Herman Stein, Marty Paich, and Jerry Goldsmith.

    Most of Mario's scores in the 1940's and 1950's were credited to others as was common practice in that era.

    At the center of the plot, is a paternal relationship that develops between Mario and one of his most talented but lesser known pupils Jerry Herst (Mackenzie Astin).

    Director Adam Cushman and first-time screenwriter C.V. Herst provide an intimate look into career and life decisions each man makes to maintain their passion and dedication to music composition while navigating the Post-War Hollywood studio machine.

    Cushman succeeds by keeping the focus completely away from the big names that would have resulted in this film being another Hollywood biopic that exploits famous names to succeed.

    Instead, 'The Maestro' is a memorable, wonderfully understated and intimate film, with superb acting, and earns my highest recommendation as one of the best films in 2018.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    We meet The Maestro in the first scene of the film as he diplomatically informs one of his students to "keep his day job'. The next student on the schedule is Jerry, a man locked in an emotional battle on whether to follow his personal dream of creating music or doing what was expected of him by his family and loved ones. The film weaves a trail through old Hollywood and the its ever present stereotypes of the big movie houses of their time. Mixed in along the way is Jerry's comical living arrangement. There is very relatable and acidic scene is between father and and his son Jerry, a theme that I am sure that is ripe with many struggling creative types in Hollywood. Jerry's dad questions Jerry on how much longer he is going to keep pursuing his fool hardy dream. I found the film relatable on all levels of the creative spectrum. I especially loved the relationship between mentor and student as Jerry is allowed to blossom into his best self at the time. It is a real peak into the struggle of making it, in any creative pursuit. The film follows these two characters through the proverbial Hollywood question, "Do I have what it takes"?

    Before I forget, the music was great too!
  • Chances are that you've never heard of The Maestro--Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. I certainly hadn't. But you've no doubt heard and been influenced by his teaching and his music.

    The Maestro is a slow and steady burn like a warm candle flickering in a darkened room examining the challenges and beauty of art. If you are looking for explosions and fast paced drama, this isn't the film for you. But if you'd like to cozy up by the fire, crack open a good book, and get a glimpse into a life that will keep you contemplating after the credits have rolled, then welcome to The Maestro.
  • chrisyanke24 February 2019
    I was most taken and shaken by the gentle and careful pacing of this film. Xander's Accent was excellent and character innate.

    If anything reminds of the course of service in art it's this: We Need You Not To Remember Us For What We Did, But Remember Yourselves For What You Can Do.

    I enjoyed the actors, especially the Landlady who brought this subtle but very unique touch of humanity and compassion that makes her very forgivable. The Scenery and Shots kept me focused on both story and without need of the period in which it took place, made a timeless story come to life.

    In order for something to live forever it doesn't have to be remembered, but reflected and Tedesco's influences will live forever because he made this place better than he found it.....and those whom he taught carried after him, the inspiration forward for those after them.

    I was fortunate enough to meet many of those involved with this film and was so grateful for such a needed simple message for humanity: Don't wait to lose something in order to appreciate it.
  • This film is what Filming should be like. No special effects, just a great script and talented actors to portray the characters. Beautifully filmed, on a micro budget. wonderful direction. Xander Berkeley and Leo Marks, worked so well together. I felt like I was transported to LA 1949? This film was based on the screenwriters Father, Jerry Herst. CV Herst is not a first time writer. I expect to see more films that he writes and produces in the future. Happy to see this talent come to life,
  • patrick_dn4 March 2019
    To put it in one word, this movie was BLAND! The Jerry Herst character was played as if the man was going for groceries, smiling at everyone he meets, being 'gentile', uninvolved and distanced from the life events that happen to him. Dead-faced acting skills. The maestro character was played in a cliché Italian kind of way. Sometimes it felt like he was the little brother of Watto from the Star Wars movies. The story itself was uninspiring and tedious. No depth at all.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just watched this movie. I wanted to check who played Stanley Kubrick and was disheartened to see this movie having such below average rating. So here's my two cents.

    The movie is really good and if you are looking for a success story or how it all turns out well in the end then this will be disappointment. But if you wanna understand the dynamic of master and a pupil. The The pursuit of happiness despite the cost of success. The purity of work in cinematic arts. This is what the movie excels at. The struggles and hardships are very relatable if you are an artist yourself. This has very less melodrama but has stark realism attached to it.

    The directing falls short at some point nothing too bad. The acting and the cinematography is what goes for this. The musical score is wonderful and they always emanate from a source, very diagetic.

    This movie has a lot going for it. It achieves it's objective. The Love of art in the purest form is what matters, that is the joy in creating it.
  • sbouhelal26 February 2019
    I really enjoyed this movie, Xander Berkeley is the perfect person to portray Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco! Mr. Berkeley is always is so believable in any character he plays! This movie is a timeless piece of art. Xanders portrayal along with all the details of that era transported me back into time as though I was watching this take place in real time. I am so happy to have seen it! It saddens me to know that the film industry senselessly and purposely forgot to honor such a wonderful composers work. Genius film and genuine heartfelt work by all talents that were involved! Thank you for telling his story! LOVE, LOVED, LOVED It!
  • A fantastic biopic on a fantastic composer. Didn't know who Mario was but glad I do now. He's a legend. Wonderfully shot. Must watch.