A(nother) Star is Born
By Alicja Ramotowski
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut of “A Star is Born” is one of four movies created since 1937 sharing the same title and plot line — an accomplished male musician who has mastered the music industry driven to the edge by its empty essence meets a young, fruitful woman not yet changed by the business with soul and plenty to say. All four of these films support the idea that for one star to rise, another must fall. According to critics, however, none of the past renditions compare to the revolutionary, tear-wrenching version Cooper has recently conceived.
“A Star is Born” has been one of the most talked about movies for weeks now. Starring in the movie are Cooper himself as Jackson Maine — a musician with a drinking and drug problem — and Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga) as Ally — a talented girl with an incredible voice, slowly giving up on her dream to make it to the big leagues. Like many women in today’s society, Ally agonizes over her appearance. Every producer she encounters compliments her singing voice but tells her that her large nose doesn’t match the aesthetic within the industry.
One night, Maine stumbles upon Ally performing in a drag bar. Their connection is instantaneous. The next day, Ally attends one of Maine’s concerts, during which he invites her to the microphone to sing a powerful, soulful song she shared with him the night before. Videos of their performance go viral, and Ally’s rise to stardom begins.
Through highs and lows the two stay together, finding strength in each other. Maine struggles with his addictions, managing to stay clean for a while until something pushes him to substance abuse once again. The alcohol and drug addiction Maine faces is highlighted as being a disease throughout the movie. It is something that he cannot control. Most family members or loved one’s in Ally’s position would set ultimatums or yell at a character like Maine, but she never gets angry at him; however, Ally consistently insists that he changes. This outlook on his issues is unique and thought-provoking. Watching Ally’s patience with Maine forces the audience to relate to similar scenarios in their own lives. Maine, whose depression stems from a lack of passion and authenticity in the Hollywood scene he has so long been a part of, is lifted slightly by Ally’s love, but becomes discouraged as he watches her change. Ally fades from reality and transforms into yet another manufactured, fake star, no longer performing because she has something to say, only simply saying and being what the fans want to hear and see.
Cooper delivers big in his directorial debut, presenting the audience with a pure and original creation: a sensational soundtrack and close up shots that show every pore, bead of sweat, and strip of greasy hair of the actors. The audience becomes immersed every concert, can experience the stuffiness of the room, and feel the vibrations of concert speakers. The 21st century remake hit over $100 million in sales in the first 12 days of screening and continues to amaze its audiences. It is a shoe-in for multiple Oscar nominations, and shows strong potential for several awards. “A Star is Born” will remain in cinemas for at least the next few weeks, so be sure to check it out — sometimes, the fourth time is the charm.
Director: Bradley Cooper
Written by: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Rating: R for alcohol and drug abuse, and some physical violence
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga)
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes