In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (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, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
A film like A Star is Born depends mostly on one thing. If it can get its audience to believe in the story they are being told. There is a true sense of realism to this new iteration . It doesn’t just come from the performances (which are great) but also from the writing and direction from Cooper. It’s hard to believe that this is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut. The way he handles the concert scenes in particular is phenomenal.
This movie immediately catapults Lady Gaga and Cooper directly into the Oscar race. I wouldn’t disagree that this is probably the early favorite for best picture as well. Lady Gaga plays this role like she is on a mission. A part of it feels super personal for her, and with her incredible voice she completely owns every scene she is in. Bradley Cooper is great as well, but I would say that his direction actually outshines his performance here. This is a story that has been told before, but some modern day elements really add to it. While social media isn’t a necessarily made a focus in this film at all, you can’t help but wonder about some of the internet repercussions of what happens at different moments throughout.
The first half of A Star is Born is beyond charming. I was so swept up in it that I hardly realized the dip it takes in the second half. Not to say it becomes a bad movie, not in the slightest, but it does lose a bit of its edge. It is able to pull across the finish line with moderate force, but not the major finale you’d hope for. However, the first half though is worth your admission and then some.
This is a great movie, and quite possibly the best version of this story. (I’ve only seen the Streisand one so I really wouldn’t know) Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are fantastic, there is something to their performances and to the entire film itself that feels so raw. While you’ve seen the story before and the plot elements are necessarily new, it’s this raw quality along with the charm that this film has that makes it so enjoyable. One of the best of the year for sure.
(Also the soundtrack is fantastic)