Movie Review: “A Star is Born”
Lady Gaga is reborn into a phenomenal actress
“A Star is Born” is fantastic. The story itself is extremely simple, focusing on two people and their love for each other, and the ups and downs that come with love. This ends up being a major strength for the film, making it feel more grounded in reality and letting us relate to the main character Ally as she is rushed into a whole new, volatile existence.
The movie is the fourth remake of the original “A Star is Born”, a movie made in 1937. This take is more closely related to the version released in 1976, taking much of the same story beats, but changing the direction to create their own unique and deeply emotional story.
They also used Gaga’s own life and journey as an entertainer for inspiration, which I’m sure helped her meld into this role completely. Her turn from extremely talented musician to extremely talented actress is finally completed with this movie, as she gives a performance for the ages.
Ally is as believable a character as I’ve ever seen, reminiscent of Emma Stone’s Oscar-winning performance for 2016’s hit “La La Land”. Her talent as a musician was well known, but it was still breathtaking at moments, like when she first takes the stage in front of a packed crowd, or her heart wrenching final song.
On the flipside, her co-star and the director of the film Bradley Cooper more than holds his own as Jackson Maine. Cooper plays a deep voiced rock star with an emotional side he hides away from the world with the help of bottle upon bottle of alcohol.
His interactions with Ally are really well written and advance in a very believable way, from nervous flirting in the beginning to heartbreaking confessions in the end. However, what shines most are his interactions with his brother/manager Bobby, played by famous mustache Sam Elliott.
Bobby deeply cares for Jackson but disagrees with a lot of what he chooses to be, making for a well-developed relationship that feels realistic.
You may have noticed that I’ve repeatedly been saying things like “realistic” and “believable”. And that’s because this movie, while focusing on such an unbelievable story, feels real.
The direction by Cooper makes the film feel like a personal look into the lives of star crossed lovers, the cinematography adds to this tremendously, and the writing reads and sounds like normal everyday conversations, complete with people talking over each other, repeating what they said, and having awkward misunderstandings.
I think it is safe to say this film will be nominated for a good amount of awards this coming winter, and will be looked back on as an achievement in acting. This movie proves that keeping a story simple works wonders when that story is backed by extremely emotionally resonant acting.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.