After a several-month hiatus of lack-luster movies hitting the box office, I was itching for a film that would challenge me, emotionally and critcally. A Star Is Born did just that.
This tale has been told time and time again, remake after remake, each time being better than the last. This time, Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut and gives one of the most honest performances of his career as Jackson Maine, a famous, talented musician with a serious alcohol problem. He stumbles through life before falling upon Ally (Lady Gaga), a waitress by day and show-stopping singer by night.
Jackson becomes enthralled by Ally and her voice, whisking her away from life as she knew it and putting her on stage in front of large crowds, whenever he gets the chance. The instant, undeniable chemistry between Cooper and Gaga is captivating. The piercing way they look at each other makes it hard to believe they are acting – That’s how organic it is to watch them on screen. The love their characters have for each other is unwavering and it’s hard to tell who is saving who.
Bradley Cooper proves throughout the entire film that he knows what he is doing behind the camera, despite this being his first time directing. His attention to detail, the risks he took cinematically and the silence he could produce in a single moment speaks volumes. On top of that, the preparation that he put into becoming Jackson was tireless, as he spent months practicing with vocal, guitar and piano lessons. His dedication to the character and to the movie as a whole is unequivocal.
For Gaga, this film proves that a true movie star is born. Lady Gaga is almost unrecognizable as Ally – until she opens her mouth to sing. Her acting and musical performances in this film are so natural, it almost doesn’t feel like a performance at all. All it takes is her to hit that first high note in the “Shallow” chorus for you to recognize the sheer power that is Gaga.
Lady Gaga is a shoo-in for winning Best Actress at next years Academy Awards but she isn’t the only one. I truly believe A Star Is Born will sweep the nominations (if not all the golden statues) for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Elliot, who plays Jacksons hard, level-headed manager.
The music, the heartbreak, the passion, the acting – A Star Is Born is timeless and one of the best films of the year. Grab some tissues and check out what the hype is all about. I promise you won’t regret it.
A Star Is Born is now playing everywhere.