A Star is Born

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper impress in this remake of the 1976 Barbara Streissand classic.

Bradley Cooper makes his stunning directorial debut with this third remake of the 1937 original “A Star Is Born.” Forty-two years after the Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson rock ’n’  roll hit version of 1976, comes Cooper’s romantic musical vision co-starring Lady Gaga and film veteran Sam Elliott. Despite a familiar storyline, the trio hit all the right notes to earn the label of Academy Award front-runner for best picture, acting, cinematography and music scoring so far in 2018.

A powerful and emotional film, “A Star Is Born” delivers a back stage pass to romance, discovery, and heartbreak. Credit Cooper for signing six-time Grammy winner and Billboard’s “Artist of the Year” Lady Gaga to this sensational romantic drama. As “Ally,” an unknown singer-songwriter, Lady Gaga completely shapes this movie from start to finish as her songs gain more and more listeners. 

The up-close and personal  behind-the-scenes look at Bradley and Lady Gaga’s romance carries the film. Lady Gaga shines effortlessly whether she’s singing into the microphone or facing down Cooper’s drug- and alcohol-addicted character Jackson Maine. Their dynamic relationship incredibly penned to lyrics while struggling to withstand family and music industry pressures.

Both Cooper and Lady Gaga thrive in their lesser known big-screen talents. For one of music’s biggest names, the singing icon Lady Gaga undeniably gives an Oscar-worthy acting performance as the steadfast sidekick to her tour mentor “Jack” (Cooper). Likewise, who knew that Cooper has serious singing chops? But, he really does. Cooper not only directs, stars and sings in this film but also co-wrote the screenplay. 

“A Star Is Born” is going to create deafening roars of approval by audiences this week. Newcomers unfamiliar with the original film will embrace and feel the emotional chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Music lovers will watch a chorus get written and performed live on-stage by a talented singer-songwriter. Romantic enthusiasts will be drawn to the love story between two people with more in common than just music.

I got chills at one point of this film. Its sheer power and raw emotions evoke realism as someone fulfills a dream and recognizes her talents. “A Star Is Born” will garner Oscar nominations for Cooper as director and star. Lady Gaga’s phenomenal performance also deserves recognition. I can see this film’s hit song “Shallow” (performed by Cooper and Lady Gaga) earning a music score nomination, as well as one for cinematography. Yes, this film is that good. Until Ryan Gosling lands on the moon in next week’s “First Man,” the top Academy Award best picture contender remains this fourth take on “A Star Is Born.”

Grade: A+

“A Star Is Born” is rated R with a running time of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the Reel Brief movie blog at reelbrief.com.  Email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com.

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