Sunday, July 21, 2024

Movie Review: ‘A Star is Born’

“A Star Is Born,” starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, will sneak its way into your heart with amazing performances, the sweetest love story and a heart-achingly sublime soundtrack before tearing it into tiny pieces.

The heart of the film is the undeniably natural chemistry between Gaga and Cooper. The connection between the actors displayed in interviews and behind the scenes footage definitely translate to the screen.

Cooper acted as the movie’s lead, wrote the screenplay with Eric Roth and William Fetters while also making his directorial debut. While for Gaga, this film marks her first major acting role in a movie.

Cooper plays the ruggedly handsome, self-destructive alcoholic musician Jackson Maine, who falls for Gaga’s character Ally, an undiscovered singer whose love affair kickstarts her ascent to stardom.

The intimate cinematography utilized close, clear shots and small, yet effective visual effects to simulate the characters perspective to make the audience feel like they are right there.

When Cooper’s character downs some pills with gin before performing at the film’s start, the camera blurs and sways with his focus. When his ears start to ring, the rest of the audio in the scene is muted so ours do too.

Along with the extremely casual and realistic dialogue and effortless weaving in of music, the story progresses to show a critical perspective of fame, mental health, relationships and the cost of following your dreams. This film is the fourth re-telling of the classic story, but defines itself as a modern classic, and solidifies itself as the first prominent candidate for Oscar nominations.

One of the best thing the film does is depict a fairly healthy and supportive relationship. There wasn’t a cheating subplot or any abuse, but the pair still face serious issues that impact their relationship.

The story does a good job of including LGBT representation, having Cooper and Gaga’s characters meet during Ally’s insane performance of “La Vie en Rose” at a drag bar with colorful reoccuring side characters.

It also does a fantastic job of showing alcoholism and drug abuse as disease and how difficult recovery from those illnesses can be. Cooper’s performance only gets better as the movie goes on and as his character develops.

Gaga’s performance is stellar in the beginning but tapers off toward the middle and end, until the closing number blows the viewer out of the water with her facial expressions and vocals.

The beautiful authenticity of the characters are what make you fall in love with them. They feel like real people who you are actually watching live their lives. Even the minor characters are distinct and have some sort of depth to them.

The film reached the $100 million box-office milestone this past Wednesday according to FADER Magazine, while the soundtrack debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The song “Shallow” is currently ranked No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 jumping up 23 spots since entering the list two weeks ago.

The music is probably the films biggest accomplishment in my eyes. Gaga’s rendition of “La Vie en Rose” gives fans of her Tony Bennett album a taste of her classic roots and shows the movies audience that Gaga is more than capable of becoming a star in her first big number.
Cooper’s country rock songs give the audience pump-up music and upbeat transitions, while Gaga has insane love ballads like “Always Remember Us This Way” and “I’ll Never Love Again” that break my heart every time I listen to them.

“A Star Is Born” blessed theaters with music, lessons of love and life and established itself as a true academy award contender.
Even if the film doesn’t receive an award, which would be a crime, Gaga and Cooper definitely solidified their status as stars. If not in Hollywood, then at least in my heart.

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