Surely you’ve seen at least one of the previous iterations of this classic tale?
This version borrows from the previous films, but there is no DJ Baby Jesus in a helicopter.
And if you think you’ve seen Bradley Cooper with a Hangover or 3, think again.
As well as writing and producing and directing A Star is Born, he stars as Jackson Maine, a kind of Chris Cornell character, a country rock musician with issues at the height of his career, with an insatiable thirst for drugs and alcohol…
After rocking a massive festival crowd, which Cooper actually shot at Coachella, he stops by a bar in search of a drink on his way home from the gig.
Who is performing but Ally, played by Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) and boy can she sing.
He invites her to join him on the road and before long her career is on the way up, while thanks to serious substance abuse issues, Jackson is on the skids.
Cinematographer Mathew Libatique, who shot all of Darren Aranofsky’s films as well as Straight Outta Compton and Venom, goes primarily handheld to keep a documentary, “live” feel and there are some meaningful framing choices such as when Ally leaves her hospitality gig and walks up an alleyway into the light, signalling her ascent has begun.
Cooper has a great sense of economy as a storyteller and the film flies along. I read some people feel the last part of the movie drags, but that’s where it gets heavy so it can’t skip anything. Gaga is a knockout and I reckon the Best Actress Oscar is in the bag. Her journey as Ally is based on hundreds of hours of interviews Cooper did with Gaga to find out about her own story and incorporate it into the film. The scenes about her nose and those shot in the drag bar are standouts because they ring true..
The songs will stick with you for a long time and have topped the charts around the world, with a mix of country rock and tunes that showcase Gaga’s incredible vocal ability.
I can’t wait to watch the film again. And to see what these two stars do next.
5 Stars – “It’s an Eleven”.