A Star is Born – 8 .5
In a word: Captivating
This is a great movie, with superb acting and an ample supply of modern-age music which, for some, could have been moderated a bit to allow for more appeal to all audiences.
First a question: What does Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Lady Gaga all have in common? They all played lead roles in a smash movie titles “A Star Is Born.” (1937, 1954, 1976 and 2018) This might well be considered the best of the lot. (Until the next rendition sometime in the mid 2050s)
While the plot is basically the same in each film, (down and out show-biz fellow discovers a future star) I cannot imagine better acting in the lead role than what Lady Gaga gives us in her first major film. She is virtually intoxicating, not only for her dramatics, but her music, which is not only singing, she renders the epitome of bridging modern rock with classic love songs. (I’ve never heard La Vie En Rose sung better) Gaga realistically crosses the gamut of raw emotion from learning that she is truly beautiful and vastly talented, as deeply imparted by a smitten Bradley Cooper (who also directed the film). The two fall genuinely and deeply in love, though his addictions ultimately create the greatest of challenges to them both.
The one musical objection I have for the movie was the first three minutes of an opening scene in which rocker, Bradley Cooper, is on stage and blasts off with shrieking guitar music at peak decibels, causing those of us over 70 to cover our ears. However, it gets continually better from there.
Toward the end of the film, there were so many interpersonal complications that needed resolution, it seemed the 2 hour, 15 minute movie dragged a bit in order to end the compendium of stories. But that doesn’t diminish the quality of this fine film, from which I think we’ll see an Oscar nomination or two.
Caution; for folks who have issue with the “F” word. This movie has its amply supply, but it does fit the characters and the story line.
I give this an 8.5
p.s. A couple of interesting trivia tidbits from IMDB you might find interesting:
* Bradley Cooper said that Lady Gaga convinced him to sing live. She said she hated movies where actors obviously lip-synced. That caused Cooper to get additional voice training.
* For his role, Cooper was taught to play guitar by Lukas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson. The pair hung out in Coopers basement every night for a year so he’d learn to present himself like a musician.
* Clint Eastwood had planned to direct a remake of A Star Is Born in 2011, with Beyonce. But that stalled because Beyonce became pregnant.