Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall in “Maestro.”

In Sunday’s (11/26) Guardian (U.K.), Wendy Ide writes, “Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (played by actor Bradley Cooper) … was a man of contradictions. And for Cooper, in his second outing as a director (after ‘A Star Is Born’), it’s this sense of perpetually warring sides to Bernstein’s psyche that proves to be central in his approach to this biopic…. Cooper directs with a gusto and showmanship to match that of Bernstein at his most fevered and ecstatic…. There is much to admire here—in particular Carey Mulligan’s career-best performance as Bernstein’s wife, the actor Felicia Montealegre—and, of course, the heart-swelling, all-consuming music that sweeps through the drama in waves…. Cooper keeps up a zesty, kinetic energy throughout. It’s another way in which Bernstein’s restless essence is captured in the storytelling…. The most powerful use of music … is an incredible extended sequence in which Bernstein conducts Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 2 with a fervor that is exultant. It’s as though he is touched by God. And when he catches sight of Felicia, all but estranged from him at this point but transfixed by his passion, the differences between them fall away. The music, for both, is everything.”