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This film is truly remarkable


By Spalding Today Columnist


A Star Is Born (4716616)
A Star Is Born (4716616)

FILM REVIEW:

A STAR IS BORN (15)

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CAST: BRADLEY COOPER, LADY GAGA, SAM ELLIOTT, GREG GRUNBERG, EDDIE GRIFFIN & DAVE CHAPELLE

RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 16 MINS

DIRECTOR: BRADLEY COOPER

Wait a second... Bradley Cooper can sing? Lady Gaga can act? And Cooper can also direct? Mind blown!

A Star is Born sees Cooper playing the charming but troubled country-rock star, Jack Maine. He gets through his shows with the help of booze... and a lot of booze!

He’s a lost soul – and to add to the tragedy, he’s losing his hearing.

Gaga plays Ally, a waitress who moonlights as a cabaret singer at a drag bar. It’s here where Jack first hears Ally’s voice and instantly falls for the performer. Before long they are partners – both romantically and on the stage.

But when Ally’s career begins to soar, while Jack’s crashes down – their relationship is put to the test after this dramatic role reversal in their lives.

Alongside the impressive and engaging storyline, the songs also play a big part in the film’s success.

Seventeen new songs feature in the movie – written by Cooper, Gaga and Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelson’s son but also an incredible artist in his own right). The songs were great. A duet called ‘Shallow’, sung by the two leads is doing particularly well in the charts and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t nominated for best song at the Oscars.

And speaking of the Oscars, Gaga gives us an Academy Award-worthy performance. Seriously – she was made for this role!

The fact that this is her debut as a lead actress, you could have excused her for taking on a simple role in a film that you’d see from someone like Britney Spears, but no, here she is taking on a powerful piece like she’s been doing it for years.

I also felt that the script for this movie could have been pages ripped from Gaga’s own autobiography – with people around the character trying to turn her into something she’s not.

Cooper also gives what could arguably be the performance of his career – and that’s while directing for the first time too.

He’s made a film that is truly remarkable. With this being the fourth time this story has made its way onto the screen (most recently with Barbra Streisand in 1976) I worried that there’d be no surprises – but that wasn’t the case.

The biggest difference between this and the originals is the modern feel to it – with nice touches such as Ally performing on Saturday Night Live. Plus, a lot more thought was put into the characters – more so than in any of the previous versions. We learn more about their past and therefore we care more for them.

And the film feels real. Not just because of the acting, but because crowds were actually borrowed from actual music festivals. These little touches make all the difference.

My only criticism is that it took a while for the story to get going, but once it got there I knew I was going to love the rest of the movie – and I did.

And after this everyone will be going ‘gaga’ for Gaga as she lights up the sky with this superstar performance – adding another feather to her multi-talented cap. With Cooper adding another string to his impressive bow too.

Rating: 4/5

By Mikey Clarke



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