A Star Is Born | Review

There are few artists with Lady Gaga’s star quality. With her unique look on pop culture and extensive knowledge on what makes music work, Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta) has become a staple in popular history in her little over a decade-old career. Knowing this, it only seemed fitting that actor Bradley Cooper, in his directorial debut, cast her in the 2018 remake of the 1937 classic, A Star Is Born.

Written by Cooper alongside Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Will Fetters (Remember Me, The Lucky One), A Star Is Born follows seasoned singer Jackson Maine (Cooper) as he falls in love with unknown talent Ally (Gaga) and her subsequent rise to stardom. After reading praise for the chemistry between Cooper and Gaga, I can personally attest that their characters bounced seamlessly off each other, providing a performance that stays with you long after the credits have rolled.

Scene from the movie.

I strayed from reading any spoilers (something I rarely do these days), since the movie premiered in Puerto Rico a week after its US debut, but I did sporadically splurge on listening to its soundtrack and even then, I was taken aback at how the music came to life on screen. It’s important to note that the live performances in the movie are live performances, as per Lady Gaga’s request, so the emotion projected through the characters’ performances is genuine.

Story-wise, I must say that I found it rather compressed towards the end. The movie built a solid story at the start, but seemingly lost itself trying to conclude it. Even though it runs for two hours and sixteen minutes, I feel like the movie could have benefited from a longer runtime, as you are left with a few unanswered questions at the end and I left the theater feeling like there were scenes missing that would have made the movie more concrete had they been included.

Additionally, some plot details seemed amiss, which could be contributed to the apparent lack of timeframe for the events of the movie. Nonetheless, these details aren’t enough to derail from the fact that Cooper and Gaga birthed a story that has already become a monument in their careers and pop culture in general.

Cooper and Gaga at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of the movie.

I liked Bradley Cooper’s work as a director; his cinematography made me feel like I was right there with the characters experiencing what they experienced. I’m looking forward to seeing what other projects he has in-store. As for Lady Gaga, with rumors that she’ll be playing Ursula in the live-action remake of the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid and the announcement that she’ll be starring as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl, it seems that she’s thriving into a new stage in her career, and bringing her fans along with her.