This provocative photo of Bradley Cooper has us asking the hard questions

Let’s face it: late 2023 is not Bradley Cooper’s award season. And to be honest, has it ever been his awards season? People are still mad that he didn’t take home a gold statue for A Star is Born, which—while possibly the least offensive of Cooper’s offerings—is still kind of a silly performance.

This year, Cooper hoped to change that by doing the two things historically guaranteed to win you an Oscar: play gay, and put on a prosthetic nose. If it worked for Nicole Kidman, by God it can work for me, Cooper probably thought.

But he was incorrect—at least, so far. The Oscar buzz hasn’t been buzzing for Cooper’s take on gay “West Side Story” and “Candide” composer Leonard Bernstein—perhaps the best that can be said is that he looks sexy playing the notoriously hot conductor. Sexy enough, at least, to win the newly-minted auteur a Golden Globe nom.

That nomination brought on a truly baffling photoshoot by Tim Walker for W Magazine, one which features Cooper in what appears to be mime-white makeup striking a saucy, leggy pose.

Is it sexy? Is it artistic? Is it giving Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” cover? Sort of. To say that fans were shooketh would be an understatement.

As one poster explained, it’s giving Benjamin Button.

It’s also giving, “I’d like the Academy to acknowledge me, please.”

But most of all, it’s giving gay. Is Cooper pulling a Daniel Day Lewis by staying stuck in his queer Lenny persona this long, or is there more to the story?

Time will tell, I suppose. This Awards season is getting goofier by the minute.

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