Movie Review: A Star is Born (2018)

The four title words in themselves are the only way I can describe this Oscar nominated phenomenon of a film: directed, written and starring the amazing Bradley Cooper and his international treasure of a musician, Stephanie Germanotta, or better known as the incredible ‘Lady Gaga’. Before I even watched the trailer, let alone the film, I immediately knew that this was the film of the year that I was bound to see, and of course it did not disappoint.

Beginning the film in the setting of California, the two stars find each other meeting in a drag bar where Gaga, a struggling waitress who longs to be a professional singer, performs. Jackson Maine (Cooper) a known musician who grew up in a world with family close to the spotlight notices Ally (Gaga)’s talent, as she sings an enchanting cover of the French song “la Vie En Rose”, the 1945 single by singer, Edith Piaf. It is a song that you know will immediately make you feel a connection towards the performer, and Gaga manages to show off her more sophisticated side as a musician, contrasting to the disco pop sensations (‘Just Dance’, ‘Paparazzi’ and ‘Bad Romance’) she became famous for.

As the film goes on, the rollercoaster ride of the characters’ lives begin after Jackson invites, or rather forces, Ally on stage with him at one of his shows, a huge crowd in front of them. After much protest, she joins him and lets all her fears go the second she sings her own song “Shallow” (now the internationally hit song off of the films soundtrack) alongside him. It is a night that causes their unconditional love affair to begin. From then on, however, Ally’s fresh new style prompts her career to fly, leaving Jackson to gradually decline from stardom.

Despite a rather tragic ending, as Jackson starts and remains an alcoholic until the films end, it is one of the most artistic, talented, sophisticated and outstandingly acted, musically written and directed (Cooper) films of the year. It is almost hard to believe that Cooper had never even started singing or learn how to play the guitar before this film, a remake of the 1937 original starring Janet Gaynor as Ally and Fredric March as Jackson, as well as in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason and in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

With these three version its prior, this 2018 modern day version had a lot to live up to, with the likes of Garland and Streisand being the big names of Ally. Yet Gaga was more than up for the challenge. Like Cooper, whose experience in music was limited before the film, Gaga’s only experience in acting was in her supporting roles in American Horror Story: Hotel (2015-2016). A born actress is all I can call her.

Labelled a “musical romantic drama”, ‘A Star is Born’ is the film of the year to see if you want to watch incredible performances that will move you to tears. The title itself sums up every aspect of this respected masterpiece.

 

10/10

 

Olivia Morel

 

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