A Star is Born, 9/10, is a tale that plucked on my heartstrings like no other. It is a simple story of one falling star and an other’s rising. Most would question why you need a fourth adaptation of this movie yet the simple response is within the movie: “music is essentially 12 notes between any octave – 12 notes and the octave repeats. It’s the same story told over and over, forever. All any artist can offer this world is how they see those 12 notes.” Now, although this response is music related, the message is transferable to film also. There are only a set amount of narrative plot themes and at the end of the day, it all comes down to how a creator or an actor portrays them. That, essentially, is what makes a movie and in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, he has certainly offered us the most spine-chilling piece of art.
A Star is Born opens with Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper) – a struggling, grizzly rockstar – trying to escape the limelight, looking for his next place to drink. We are then shown Ally (played by Lady Gaga) – an extremely talented budding musician – working as waitress to get by. Ally has just finished work and is on her way to perform at a Drag Night. Unbeknown to both of them, their paths will cross that evening, setting them on a course that will change both their lives forever. Jackson stumbles across the bar that Ally is performing in and is instantly transfixed with her vocal abilities. Recognising her talent and her natural gift of being a story teller, he does everything he can to push her towards fame. Ally’s life is about to drastically change but is Jack the one saving Ally or is it Ally that is really holding it all together? As the couple fall hopelessly in love with one another, they become utterly consumed in their own bubble as if it is a safe haven from the outer world. However, is it strong enough to keep them together when they are apart?
I really do not know where to start as there is so many factors that make this film so exceptional. Firstly, I’ll start by commending, no, applauding both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga on their phenomenal performances. You can tell that both have invested an amazing amount of passion into this project. On one hand, you have the dazzling acting capabilities of Cooper who gives a highly convincing performance of being this troubled rock star. Yet, on the other, you have Gaga who is used to the pressure and lifestyle of the music industry but her performance still pulls the wool over the audience’s eyes. It is as if it was her very first time. Gaga and Cooper vocally and performance wise are both equally matched and compliment one another perfectly.
It would be hard to talk about A Star is Born without commenting on the soundtrack to the movie. Every song gives an added insight into the thoughts behind our two main characters. It’s very rare that I will every play the soundtrack after seeing a movie but this has been on repeat since I have watched the film. The emotion attached to the lyrics still has the same effect on me. Without revealing spoilers, the last twenty minutes of the film forced me to tears falling and the last song will forever have that connection attached. The beauty doesn’t stop at the soundtrack as the display of certain themes have been portrayed in such a realistic demeanour. Tackling Jackson’s alcoholism and drug addiction doesn’t tread on eggshells or pander the heartbreaking reality of the inescapable struggle with dependance and addiction. The invasive choice of shots mirror the lifestyles the stars lead. The audience is given a constant insight into the struggle the two come up against. As for the two leads’ onscreen presence, I almost felt disappointed that the two haven’t become an item off-screen as I was so invested in the beautiful chemistry they displayed. Cooper and Gaga should be proud of what they have created here and I look forward to what is to come from the both of them in the future. I hope Cooper carries on down the path of directing and Gaga continues to perform on the big screen as both seem like they have plenty more to offer.
Entertainment (of its genre): 10/10
Overall Rating: 9/10