A Star Is Born (2018)
R | 2h 16min | Drama , Music , Romance | 5 October 2018 (USA)
Synopsis: A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
Review: The directorial debut by Bradley Cooper – A STAR IS BORN – is an emotional powerhouse with fantastic performances from both Cooper and co-star Lady Gaga. Craftsmanship and writing make it more than just a reboot of the original. Sometimes a movie comes around that has a special magic to it, when everything seems to click. It packs a heavy dramatic punch that hits you square in the gut. This is not a warm and fuzzy feel good flick but the point is not to calm the soul but to stir it. The music, characters, and message blend together to create this years award frontrunner.
Jack (Cooper) is a famous musician battling his fair share of demons. While grabbing a drink in a random bar he catches the performance of Ally (Lady Gaga) and the two become instant soul mates. It is apparent that Ally is destined for stardom and Jack is ready to take her under his wing. As the two become closer and Ally’s notoriety grows so does Jack’s liquid vice. What doesn’t change is his love for Ally. It is that devotion that makes this film an emotional masterpiece. You can see what is coming but have no power to stop it.
The music in this one is a character all its own. No surprise that Gaga kills it with every note but many will be impressed as well with Cooper’s ability to sell the seasoned rock star character. Bradley admits to basing much of his characters mannerisms and performance style to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. That was a smart choice as this gives him a template to work from and embody. Once that is in place the acting and drama elevate it to Hollywood stature. On the other side Gaga acts as if she has been in front of a movie camera instead of a piano her whole life. She is honestly flawless.
Cooper co-penned the screenplay with Eric Roth and it is solid. Having this cast, including Sam Elliott, will make any script sing. If you took the time to completely dissect it you may find some off-key blemishes but you would have to look long and hard. The journey is the point and when Cooper puts on his directors cap he painstakingly details each frame and scene to move seamlessly with the words on the page. So even the blemishes look like beauty marks.
Tragic is another word that describes Jack and Ally’s adventure together. A Star is Born is a heavy film and will have most adult movie goers reeling. It is rated R for language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and substance abuse. Be prepared going in. The trailer only gives you a glimpse of the characters but not the depth of what they go through. These are road weary musicians battling issues most could not imagine. Gaga has probably seen and dealt with these first hand but Cooper delivers his side with organic believability. I give it 4.5 out of 5 capo’s. It hits the exact note needed for this years award season.
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