a star is born
DIRECTOR: bradley cooper (debut)
STARRING: bradley cooper, lady gaga, sam elliot, and dave chappelle
REVIEWER: emily carter
Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers -- and falls in love with -- struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally's career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
A Star Is Born has the big names and punchy predecessors behind it, but is it enough to live up to it's own hype?
Little did I know, A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga is the fourth version of this film. That's right - a remake, of a remake, of a remake, of a remake. Normally such a discovery would (and maybe should?) put you off a film, but let me stop you right there. This movie deserves to be seen in its own right.
And it has weighty predecessors too, as far back as 1937, then 1954 with Judy Garland and 1976 with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson - but it has enough going for it - including being Bradley Cooper's directorial debut.
We meet Jackson (Bradley Cooper) - a legendary rock star, plagued by addiction. Who meets Ally (Lady Gaga), a beautiful young woman with insecurities and raw talent. One whose star is blazing and one whose is yet to rise. He hears her voice on the very first time they meet and is inviting her on stage with him shortly after - a relationship on fast-forward. Despite his swift falling for her, Jackson continues on a self-destructive path while Ally's career begins to boom.
From here, the story meanders, having you question what the next hurdle will be, only to find it continues exactly as it is for another 30mins of the film. Don't get me wrong, A Star is Born tackles huge moments and decisions, but the pace needs propping up at times.
However (and this is a big however), any teeny spot of the story that may fall short is 110% compensated by the concert scenes and music. The scenes from backstage are incredibly realistic, down to the booming festival-bass you can feel in your chest. The music is incredible. It has songs you will be singing for days afterwards and Lady Gaga proves she has the voice of a generation yet again. Bradley's husky, country tone pairs perfectly with hers and the songs that come as a result more than make the movie.
Lady Gaga's acting though? I am a fan. I was a skeptic, but she IS Ally. Her acting chops have cut in juuust fine.
And Bradley is superb as usual, performing the role of a dysfunctional country rock star with baggage on baggage on baggage. It's hard to fathom that he played starring role while directing this big musical beast too. Hats off to you, sir.
Classic remakes often seem to be cursed with being a flop, but this one is sure to fly high!
Even though the story meanders, A Star is Born is more than compensated by the incredible music and the wonderful Lady Gaga.