MOVIE REVIEW: A Star is Born

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A Star Is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film produced and directed by Bradley Cooper (in his directorial debut) and written by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters. A remake of the 1937 film of the same name, it stars Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, and Sam Elliott, and follows a hard-drinking musician (Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a young singer (Gaga). It marks the fourth remake of the original 1937 film, after the 1954 musical, the 1976 musical, and the 2013 Bollywood film, Aashiqui 2.

The film starts with the deafening sound of a concert, the sound design making you feel both the excitement of being in a fully booked arena, and the pain of incredibly loud music. You will want to cover your ears at times, probably a way for the filmmakers to make you sympathize more with the lead character of Jackson Maine (Cooper, pulling double duty as director and co-lead).

In this new take on the tragic love story, seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer… until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

This version of Maine may be drunk and popping pills 24/7, but he still is capable of selling out concert arenas and giving incredible performances. When Maine runs out of booze in his car, he enters a drag bar and meets Ally (Lady Gaga), a singer so good the drag queens allow her (a woman) to have her own show. As with every Hollywood love story involving a celebrity, Jackson instantly falls for Ally as she is seemingly the only woman on Earth that treats him for what he is – a drunk battling with his own internal demons.

A Star Is Born premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018, by Warner Bros. The film has grossed over $414 million worldwide and received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper, Gaga, and Elliott’s performances and Cooper’s direction, as well as the screenplay, cinematography and music. It was chosen by both the National Board of Review and American Film Institute as one of the Top 10 Films of 2018.

The film received numerous accolades, including five nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, winning Best Original Song for Gaga’s “Shallow“. The film also received eight nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga), Best Supporting Actor (Elliott) and Best Original Song (“Shallow”).

A Star is Born is a film that believes in the power of a song to connect with its listener in a way that can change their lives. And it is a beloved piece of work for those who believe in it too.

 

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