Hollywood’s third remake of the 1937 film A Star Is Born has still proven itself as a hit among audiences. Bradley Coopers’ directorial debut is one that is bound to leave an impression with its viewers. Through captivating performances, a gripping narrative, and its stellar soundtrack, 2018’s A Star Is Born finds itself as one of the best films of the year.

A Star Is Born Review

Captivating Performances

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are both able to deliver truly phenomenal performances. Each one feeds off the other to produce a high sense of chemistry. Gaga grounds herself as a waitress recently discovered as the next big star in the music industry. Not only does she display the emotions of her character’s meteoric rise to fame, but she does so in a way that is sincerely humane and does not echo her own flamboyant real-life performances. Her raw emotions are all packaged into her delivery, as well as in her vocal presentations. Cooper shows off his own acting chops that is his best since 2014’s American Sniper. In order to capture the essence of his character, the actor had to lower his own octave to match co-star Sam Elliott’s voice. This pays off tremendously to display the struggles of a music star battling addiction. It’s an emotionally driven performance that feeds off the environment around him.

The ensemble cast also provides incredible deliveries that enhance the overall feel of the film. Cooper and Gaga may be the stars of the show, but Sam Elliot and Andrew Dice Clay exemplify the heartfelt emotions of each character they play. Dice Clay plays Gaga’s father who is reminiscent of his singing past and bitter that it never came to fruition. It’s a realistic look at singers who aren’t able to achieve stardom, but he also provides comedic breaks in this dramatic plot. Elliot’s performance, in particular, may also result in a nomination for next year’s Best Supporting Actor category. He takes on the role of Bobby Maine, Jackson Maine’s (Bradley Cooper) older brother. How he portrays the essence of this character and his relationship with his only brother is one that is definitely breathtaking.

A Star Is Born Review

Gripping Narrative

2018’s retelling of the classic film is still one that resonates with the music industry and stardom. Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) struggles with the decline of his career as a battle with drugs and alcohol ensues. While stopping at a local bar, Maine discovers Ally Campana (Lady Gaga) who’s voice and performance stun him. The two meet and are inevitably drawn to one another. Ally’s career erupts into a high-profile affair, while Maine sits in the passenger seat. As this newfound fame takes off, the two’s relationship deals with its own set of struggles. It’s a complex love story with many different aspects to it. Ally and Jackson’s growth is one that doesn’t feel forced nor does it feel unnatural. Their individual struggles and dreams clash with one another but their love is their driving force.

Maine and Campana’s relationship may be at the forefront, but family and addiction take its own toll on the story. Brotherly dynamics and father figures are crucial, yet overlooked. Bobby (Sam Elliot) and Jackson Maine are at a crossroads when it comes to their own upbringings and future. They both go head to head when it comes to what is best for Jackson, but addiction is what often emerges victorious. A Star Is Born’s depiction of alcohol abuse and prescription pill addiction is real and grabs the viewers in a stunning fashion. It has effects not just on the user but on loved ones and others surrounding. Key plot points are centered around this but ultimately comes off in a way that forces the audience to feel for Maine’s downfall rather than Ally’s career. Cooper’s character overstays his welcome in certain scenes which eclipses the performance and story of Gaga’s Ally. Despite Ally becoming an icon and grasping the world’s attention, her real challenge is garnering enough screentime to display it.

A Star Is Born Review

Stellar Soundtrack

Lady Gaga is able to showcase her acting chops, but her vocal range is what keeps its audience glued to the film’s soundtrack. Each song tells its own story and finds its place in each scene that it’s played. The film’s use of music is perfect for casual listeners and music buffs alike. Nods to the great Roy Orbison, Paul Anka, and Frank Sinatra show that this isn’t a commercial money grab. Its rooted in the music and the history of it, that helps modernize this classic tale. The main song for this release is the chart-topping Shallow but others are no doubt going to have its own shot at Best Original Song, such as I’ll Never Love Again and Always Remember Us This Way. All three play major roles and at least one is sure to land Gaga an Oscar nomination. Its overall soundtrack has already proven its strength with three consecutive weeks at #1 and continues to be a delight to listen to.

A Star Is Born Review

A Star Is Born definitely is one of the year’s bests and is sure to be a shoo-in for multiple Academy Award nominations. Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and Sam Elliot deliver natural and raw performances that enhance the film’s already engaging plot. In addition to this, the musical score is one that helps deliver key points of the plot while also displaying the character’s emotions and states of mind. Although Cooper’s character of Jackson Maine overshadows Gaga’s Ally Campana in some areas, it isn’t enough to derail the film. This film will definitely be on the minds of movie-goers long after the credits roll and stay there as Award season approaches.

A Star Is Born Review
Overall Score
Pros
  • Captivating Performances
  • Stellar Soundtrack
  • Gripping Narrative
Cons
  • Too Much Emphasis on Cooper
4.0Great
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