January 22, 2020

Netflix has new Oscars hopeful in Bradley Cooper Leonard Bernstein film

Netflix has new Oscars hopeful in Bradley Cooper Leonard Bernstein film
Credit: John Bauld (via Wikimedia Commons)

Netflix has three major feature films nominated at this year’s Oscars, and should have a strong 2022 contender with Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein film.

Deadline reported the news of Cooper’s directorial follow-up to the acclaimed A Star is Born. He will serve as star, co-writer, and producer on the Bernstein project.

Streaming platforms are asserting themselves more in awards season — especially Netflix.

With Best Picture nominees Marriage Story and The Irishman, it’s only a matter of time before the streaming giant takes home serious hardware. The Two Popes also received three Academy Award nominations this year.

CHECK OUT: Which Netflix feature film will win most awards at 2020 Oscars?

Oscar talent galore behind the camera

Some may question whether Cooper can co-write the complicated yarn of Bernstein’s marriage to Felicia Montealegre. However, he had writing duties on his directorial debut. Also, joining him in penning the script is Spotlight writer Josh Singer, who won the Academy Award for that film.

Who’s producing the Bernstein biopic, you ask? Oh, just a few Best Director Oscar nominees named Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips, that’s all.

If that many acclaimed filmmakers, particularly the legendary former two, are personally backing this project, that must bode well.

Deadline reported the production is likely to star early in 2021, which means the pic is bound for a December limited theatrical release. That’s right when all the awards-season darlings start picking up steam.

CHECK OUT: The Irishman Netflix review: a Best Picture Oscar favorite

Unfinished business and a perfect storm

Cooper got snubbed for a Best Director nomination with A Star is Born. Now that he’s firmly established himself in that capacity, though, it seems fitting he’d earn a nod this time.

Netflix hasn’t hesitated to give creative visionaries carte blanche to do whatever they want. This was the case with Scorsese on The Irishman, as no major studios would’ve financed or theatrically wide released a 3.5-hour crime epic.

The funny thing is, per the Deadline report, Scorsese wanted to direct a Bernstein movie for Paramount. However, he stepped aside so he could focus on bringing The Irishman to life after that project languished in development for many years.

In a way, Netflix stacked the deck in its favor, mostly through serendipity. Spielberg’s involvement is also a big deal. He’s been critical of streaming platforms being central to awards season in the past.

This could be Cooper’s best chance at a Best Actor Oscar, too. He’s playing a famous composer, and can not only show off musical virtuosity again, but also forge a compelling domestic drama, which is really appealing content to the Academy.

A Star is Born received eight Academy Award nominations. Not a bad first directing effort for Cooper. This latest Bernstein story for Netflix may well net even more Oscars for the streaming giant.

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