A Star Is Born Theatrical Review
Jackson Maine (Cooper) is a world-famous musician. He is also an alcoholic loner. Ally (Lady Gaga) is a singer/songwriter who performs in a drag club. When their paths cross it is "fate" and Jackson is instantly smitten with her. Ally, on the other hand, lacks the confidence to believe the talent Jackson sees in her until he forces her hand and makes her sing one of her songs with him on stage. From that point on he is truly in love wither while her world is completely changing.
Ally suddenly finds her self on tour with Jackson while sharing his bed. As she gains more and more attention, Jackson seemingly becomes jealous. He also tries to warn her of the hazards of fame while watching her change everything she is and does which causes a strain on their relationship. Ultimately, her newfound fame and his declining popularity cause irrevocable damage to their personal lives creating a chasm between them that is too wide to bridge.
As the fourth go around you can't help but wonder why remake this story again. However, it is extremely difficult to find anything wrong with this film, which is a convincing argument for another version. Cooper is excellent as the tortured musician and his dedication to this role pays off. Lady Gaga is a wonder as Ally. It is well documented that she is a talented musician but her previous acting roles haven't captured the depth and range she has. She is a breath of fresh air as she drives almost every scene in this movie. The chemistry these two actors share is palpable making their story all the more believable. Sam Elliot (Road House) as Jackson's manager is perfectly cast as is Anthony Ramos (Younger) as one of Ally's closest friends.
Cooper also displays a new talent as a skilled director. The performances he pulls out of this cast are remarkable. His eye for framing shots also makes this movie feel large and wide open while intimate and personal all at the same time. It evokes so many emotions from the audience that you aren't sure what to feel first. His pace doesn't lag and his panache for fully developing a scene is a skill not many people have.
Even the soundtrack has a robust and full array of songs to enjoy. Everything from Jackson's biggest hits to Ally's original songs and pop "schlock" moves the plot along as if they were their own character. Written by Lady Gaga and Lukas Nelson (Dumb and Dumber To) they range from driving melodies to beautiful ballads that showcase Gag's vocals while shocking audiences with Cooper's musical talents.
The story is neither fresh nor unique but Cooper's take on it is fantastic. His ability to assemble and direct a wonderful cast and helm such a grand project his first time out is incredible. With one shot he has established himself as a talent to be reckoned with the result is magnificent. Even if you don't like a romance, there is so much more to this story for you to enjoy.
You should see A Star is Born... no questions asked.
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 135 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
About Allison Hazlett-Rose
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