By Allison Hazlett-Rose
Oct 01, 2018 04:09 PM EST

A Star Is Born Theatrical Review

You should see A Star is Born... no questions asked.
A Star Is Born Theatrical Review
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An actress emerges from her shell…a new director proves his worth…a movie that entices all of the senses and emotions in one's body… A Star is Born and the fourth iteration of the movie may be the best one to date. The first film from 1937 starred Janet Gaynor (Sunrise) and Fredric March (The Best Years of Our Lives) and tells the story of Esther who becomes an overnight sensation after being cast in a movie. In 1954 Judy Garland (The Wizard of Oz) and James Mason (20,000 leagues under the Sea) remade the movie and then again in 1976 the movie once again hit the big screen starring Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl) and Kris Kristofferson (Blade) this time.  Here we are in 2018 and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) and Lady Gaga (American Horror Story) have taken up the reigns.

Jackson Maine (Cooper) is a world-famous musician.  He is also an alcoholic loner.  Ally (Lady Gaga) is a singer/songwriter who performs in a drag club.  When their paths cross it is "fate" and Jackson is instantly smitten with her.  Ally, on the other hand, lacks the confidence to believe the talent Jackson sees in her until he forces her hand and makes her sing one of her songs with him on stage. From that point on he is truly in love wither while her world is completely changing.

Ally suddenly finds her self on tour with Jackson while sharing his bed.  As she gains more and more attention, Jackson seemingly becomes jealous.  He also tries to warn her of the hazards of fame while watching her change everything she is and does which causes a strain on their relationship.  Ultimately, her newfound fame and his declining popularity cause irrevocable damage to their personal lives creating a chasm between them that is too wide to bridge.

As the fourth go around you can't help but wonder why remake this story again.  However, it is extremely difficult to find anything wrong with this film, which is a convincing argument for another version.  Cooper is excellent as the tortured musician and his dedication to this role pays off.  Lady Gaga is a wonder as Ally.  It is well documented that she is a talented musician but her previous acting roles haven't captured the depth and range she has.  She is a breath of fresh air as she drives almost every scene in this movie.  The chemistry these two actors share is palpable making their story all the more believable.  Sam Elliot (Road House) as Jackson's manager is perfectly cast as is Anthony Ramos (Younger) as one of Ally's closest friends.

Cooper also displays a new talent as a skilled director.  The performances he pulls out of this cast are remarkable.  His eye for framing shots also makes this movie feel large and wide open while intimate and personal all at the same time.  It evokes so many emotions from the audience that you aren't sure what to feel first.  His pace doesn't lag and his panache for fully developing a scene is a skill not many people have.

Even the soundtrack has a robust and full array of songs to enjoy.  Everything from Jackson's biggest hits to Ally's original songs and pop "schlock" moves the plot along as if they were their own character.  Written by Lady Gaga and Lukas Nelson (Dumb and Dumber To) they range from driving melodies to beautiful ballads that showcase Gag's vocals while shocking audiences with Cooper's musical talents.  

The story is neither fresh nor unique but Cooper's take on it is fantastic.  His ability to assemble and direct a wonderful cast and helm such a grand project his first time out is incredible.  With one shot he has established himself as a talent to be reckoned with the result is magnificent.  Even if you don't like a romance, there is so much more to this story for you to enjoy. 

You should see A Star is Born... no questions asked.

Grade: A+

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 135 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about A Star Is Born visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Allison Hazlett-Rose



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