Watch The Maestro
- 1 hr 34 min
The Maestro is a biographical drama from 2018 that chronicles the life of world-renowned conductor Arturo Toscanini. The movie is directed by Adam Cushman and stars Xander Berkeley as Toscanini, Sarah Clarke as Carla, and Mackenzie Astin as Paul Steiner. The film is based on the 1992 book "The Maestro: The Life and Times of Arturo Toscanini" by Harvey Sachs.
The story is set in the early 20th century and takes the audience through the most pivotal moments in Toscanini's life. It opens with a young Toscanini conducting a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" in Brazil. The audience is then taken back to his childhood in the Italian countryside, where he first learned to play the cello and conducted his first orchestra.
The Maestro delves deeper into the conflicts between Toscanini and the fascist regime in Italy during the late 1920s and 1930s. The film shows how his outspoken opposition against Mussolini and his ideology landed him in hot water with the government. The movie depicts the crucial decision he made to leave Italy permanently and never return after receiving death threats. His exile also meant he had to forfeit his right to be the conductor of La Scala Opera. Later on, the movie shows how Toscanini eventually defeated the fascists by conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra during radio broadcasts of his performances, which reached millions of listeners across America.
Throughout the movie, we see the impact his troubled relationship with his son Walter had on his personal life, and how he dealt with it. The complexity of Toscanini's emotional struggles is portrayed expertly by filmmaker Cushman. The movie shows his relentless pursuit of perfection and his uncompromising standards, which alienated him from many of his colleagues and friends.
The story is told in a non-linear way, with flashbacks to important moments in the conductor's life scattered throughout the film. This helps keep the pacing of the story from becoming too slow and also helps to provide a wider perspective of Toscanini's life and work.
One of the most notable aspects of The Maestro is the how well it recreates the scenes of the performance of some of the most iconic classical pieces of music. The scenes of Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in performance are expertly executed and showcase the conductor's incredible skill and passion. The cinematography is also stunning, showcasing the grandeur of the opera houses and concert halls where Toscanini performed.
Xander Berkeley delivers a career-best performance as Toscanini, expertly capturing the passion, drive, and complexity of the iconic conductor. Sarah Clarke, who plays Toscanini's wife, Carla, also delivers a strong performance, providing vital emotional support at key moments in the narrative. Mackenzie Astin, playing the role of journalist and biographer, gives an outstanding performance, providing essential exposition and insight into Toscanini's life.
Overall, The Maestro is a masterful biographical drama that is perfect for any classical music lover or anyone who wants to learn more about one of the most iconic conductors of the 20th century. The movie is a passion project that pays homage to the life of a man who dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence. With its beautiful cinematography, magnificent performances, and expert direction, The Maestro is a must-watch for anyone who loves classical music and wants to understand more about its history.
The Maestro is a 2018 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.