A Star is Born
When Bradley Cooper's aging rock star Jackson Maine, says “it’s the same story, told over and over,” he’s referring to music and the 12 notes on the octave that can be scrambled and reinvented over and over. Cooper could very well be speaking for A Star Is Born itself, which, now in its fourth incarnation, poetically reminds us that stories can not only be retold, but that they can reinvent themselves as well.
The basic story goes that a new talent is found. It’s a fitting foundation for a film that hosts similar discoveries in its own production. Actor/First Time Director Bradley Cooper is a scruffy, raspy-voiced singer in front of the camera, as well as a seemingly veteran storyteller behind it. The opening concert sequences are electric, a great method of joining us with Cooper’s character, who’s suffering from tinnitus. And though the vocal majesty of Lady Gaga is known far and wide, there’s an early scene at a drag club that almost reintroduces her ability, while also announcing a new one in acting. (aside from that short stint on FX's American Horror Story)
A huge factor in the movies' favor is that Gaga and Cooper were essential in creating much of the soundtrack. It’s one of the many details of the film that add intimacy and believability to the story, which has now been told four times. Not much has changed between renditions, and yet, A Star Is Born breathes fresh life. Of course, the greatest contributor to that is the immediate connection between the actors/singers, which their characters also share. That bond is developed in the film’s first act, and it struggles to carry that energy throughout the entirety of the retold tale. Slight steam is lost as it turns the corner of familiarity, with Ally venturing into her own career as a mega pop star, and Jackson collapsing in his.
The movie features an amazing cast, a strong plot, great music, and a sense of realness that is hard to come by, for Coopers first time behind the camera he really makes a name for himself as a solid director.
The film is a solid 8 out of 10.
A Star is Born is rated R for language, nudity, and substance abuse.
photo courtesy of Warner Brothers