Movie Review: A Star is Born starring Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga & Sam Elliot

Image Source: The Guardian

A Star Is Born

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Live Nation Productions, Gerber Pictures, Peters Entertainment & Joint Effort
Director: Bradley Cooper
Producers: Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Jon Peters, Bill Gerber & Lynette Howell
Scriptwriters: Eric Roth, Will Fetters & Bradley Cooper
Main Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliot, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos & Rafi Gavron
Release Date: August 31 2018
Running Time: 136 Minutes
Certificate: 15

In 2018, A Star is Born, the first film that Bradley Cooper directed, proved to be a major success by making 436.2 million USD at the box office.

Synopsis

This smash hit tells the story of Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), a musician battling with alcoholism, drug abuse and loss of hearing. He falls in love with Ally (Lady Gaga), a cater waiter struggling with her chauvinistic boss by day, but who has aspirations of becoming a music artist by night, and hopefully forever. The film features Cooper encouraging Gaga to reach for her dreams, while he struggles to deal with his inner demons. Their on-screen love develops, acting out an emotional, heartbreaking but beautiful story.

The film aims to show the reality of the music industry. This includes the parts we see as the ticket buyers, but it also allows the audience to have a backstage pass into the harsh reality of a career in music. This is entangled with a blossoming romance between Jack and Ally which slowly becomes corrupted by outside access. The brutal reality of Jack and his demons comes to a denouement. Although this is a fourth rendition of the film, Cooper and Gaga’s version manages to create a phenomenal soundtrack, a great on-screen chemistry and emotional screenplay that will leave you reaching for the tissues.

Analysis

This rendition sticks relatively close to the previous additions, but remodernizes the tale to keep audiences entertained. With this rendition, the audience is brought to a Drag Queen bar, which offers light-hearted fun, and humour which creates a new twist to a well-known adapted title. An impressive performance of La Vie En Rose from Gaga sets the tone for this love story. Alongside this, we get the first look at Jack’s inner demon, his tinnitus. A condition which causes noise induced hearing loss, this is the first presentation of Jack’s pain. Yet still Jack continues to be obsessed with Ally’s voice, despite the pain. Ironic, really, that the power of music and the industry they so desperately long to be in ultimately becomes the downfall for their relationship.

As the film progresses, the chemistry between the two develops through their adventures on the big stage, as they sell out arenas and create a memorable soundtrack. The film manages to balance its use of songs by incorporating these into the script by allowing Ally’s character to develop her talent through her love for song-writing. However, each tune is carefully scripted to relate to the film’s screenplay. The comedic and romance features are balanced between the difficult saga that relationships have. But nevertheless, the film provides a well-rounded balance of on-screen chemistry, great music, and difficult topics.

The soundtrack, composed by Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Lukas Nelson, has been created to an impeccable standard. This, alongside the acting from Cooper and Gaga, provides further character development, which I feel the other renditions lacked. A great range of upbeat tempo and emotional ballads allows us to connect with the characters. The music portrays the scenes well enough that some scenes feature small amounts of dialogue. It’s a memorable way to give audiences a break from the emotional storyline, but it also continues to enrich the content of the script. A personal favourite is I’ll Never Love Again; this is sung in the final scene. And it tells the love story of Jack and Ally perfectly, a couple devoted to one another but distracted for other vices. A soundtrack that is performed with a perfect clarity provides a breathtaking story in itself, but is connected with the film, leads us to a symphony of perfection.

Summary

A break from the stage herself, Lady Gaga takes the role of Ally, alongside Bradley Cooper and the fellow starring cast to create a film worthy of having an uplifting sing-song but also has the power to encourage tissues in hands by the end. A heart-breaking story, performed with flawless conviction and emotion, is a perfect contestant in the competition for the best rendition of A Star Is Born. The iconic quote (Jack saying to Ally “I just want to take another look at you”) also represents our reaction to the film; we just want to take another look at it. A Star Is Born is indeed a film that has established a well-deserved place in my heart.

Notes

Target Audience: Ages 15+
Content: Mature Themes incl. Strong Language, Sex, Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Smoking, Suicide & Violence
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: Perfect – 10/10

Further Details

For more information about A Star Is Born, click here.