It’s only November and the Oscar race gets a full throttled kick into high gear with Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star is Born. This is the fourth reiteration of A Star is Born, and it’s been over 40 years since Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson’s underwhelming version of the film back in 1976. Cooper manages the impossible juggling act of taking the classic tale of an underdog whisked away from under fame’s microscope and seamlessly fuses some old-fashioned Hollywood romance. Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a fading country rock star battling alcohol and drug addiction. One night after playing a concert, Maine finds himself in need of a drink. He inadvertently ends up at a drag bar and is instantly transfixed with Ally (Lady Gaga), an insecure singer/songwriter on stage performing, “La Vie En Rose.” Maine visits Ally backstage and they develop an instant attraction. It is here that A Star is Born earns its title.
Maine and Ally start a whirlwind romance that predictably sees the couple’s career trajectory go in opposite directions. With Maine’s help, Ally vaults into superstardom as Maine fades away into the background with his demons. Clocking in at a whopping 135 minutes, A Star is Born is that rare cinematic event that breezes by in an instant. This is a testament to Cooper’s direction and the magnificent star-making performance of the ultra-talented Lady Gaga. While the second half of A Star is Born dangerously starts to tiptoe the line of “Lifetime Movie of the Week” territory, the first half of the film is so damn perfect that it does nothing to detract from the film’s overall greatness. A Star is Born, is a magical and transcending film that demands repeat viewings!
By SCOTT PETERSON
cinesportstalk.com | @CineSportsTalk