MOVIE REVIEW: “A Star is Born” stars Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Sniper), Lady Gaga (Machete Kills, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Sam Elliot (Road House, The Big Lebowski), Andrew Dice Clay (The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Blue Jasmine), Rafi Gavron (Inkheart, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Anthony Ramos (Godzilla: King of the Monters, Younger [TV series]), and Dave Chappelle (Chappelle’s Show [TV series], Half Baked). It is directed by Bradley Cooper, who wrote the screenplay alongside Eric Roth (The Insider, Forrest Gump) and Will Fetters (Remember Me, The Lucky One). A seasoned musician, Jackson Maine (Cooper), helps a young promising songwriter, Ally (Gaga), attain her dreams of becoming a professional singer, all the while falling in love and facing a series of hardships.
If “Shallow” doesn’t win Best Original Song at the Oscars, I’m gonna flip tables. I mean, can anything else really compete against it? Doubt it. But, who knows what the Oscars will do. It’s all driven by politics anyway. Everyone should know about the film “A Star is Born,” given how there are four iterations of the story spread over fifty years. Why Hollywood thought we deserved another one is unknown, though I’ll make the go-to guess of money. I haven’t seen any of them; I wanted to see the Judy Garland version, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Now that the Cooper-Gaga powerhouse is nominated for a bunch of awards, including the coveted Best Picture, it only made sense to rent and analyze it. My thoughts? It’s a pretty solid flick. What everyone should clearly walk away with after seeing “A Star is Born” is its music. Man, does it have a killer soundtrack. Obviously, “Shallow” is the forerunner for its best song, but there’s plenty of other tunes that’ll make you nod your head or tap your feet, my favorites being “Maybe It’s Time” and “I’ll Never Love Again.” It’s beautiful music to listen to and were filmed exceptionally. The cinematography as a whole was really good. I wouldn’t say it’s Best Cinematography worthy, given how there wasn’t anything too special about it, but there were a lot of great lighting set-ups that played into the concerts, and I think Cooper had a good eye for direction when crafting the look of this feature. On another note, the performances were astounding. Everyone did a great job, and it was surprising to see how good of an actress Lady Gaga is. Her chemistry with Cooper was great, and I even gotta give props to Cooper for pulling off a solid performance amongst his directing duties. The story pits Gaga’s character as the main, though her tale is seen through her relationship with Cooper’s character, which is a pretty rough ordeal. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky story of a couple making music that’s close to the heart. There’s an underlying theme of staying true to yourself through the music you play, but a lot more occurs that make for a rather sad story. I won’t go into spoilers, but I will say that the filmmakers did a great job in capturing emotion in the final act and wringing it out. Everything culminates to a tough final scene to swallow, and it definitely packs a punch. Leading up to that point though, I’d say the rest of the movie is alright. It has some solid moments (interspersed with great music), though I will say that it gets dry in a lot of places. Cooper and Gaga are electric, but their problems can get tiresome and repetitive, making them grow distant and leading to several scenes that depict them living out separate careers. While this development is good to let us grow closer to their characters, I couldn’t help but get tired from time to time. It really takes until the climax for me to really get emotionally invested in the harsh story they’re trying to tell. Sure, there are parts dispersed throughout that hold my interest and make me feel, but it’s not on a consistent basis. “A Star is Born” is a tale that can drift, but it eventually comes back around to make anyone feel sad. I like the theme they pushed for as well as the acting and music. While it isn’t leaps and bounds fantastic, it is worth at least one watch. FINAL SCORE: 85%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: