A Star is Born

a star is born 2018

Director: Bradley Cooper
Writers: Based on story by William A. Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell. Screenplay: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
Released: October 2015
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott

Believe it or not, this is the fourth version of A Star is Born.

1937 (Janet Gaynor and Fredric March)
1954 (Judy Garland and James Mason)
1976 (Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson)
2018 (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper)

It’s about a rock star called Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) who is an alcoholic with failing hearing and a career that is winding down. He bumps into a waitress called Ally (Lady Gaga) who has some decent pipes and takes her under his wing. Before he knows it, she’s an even bigger pop star than him and fame changes her from a humble, ordinary girl into an unrecognisable star.

While she rakes in the money and wins all the awards, Maine’s alcoholism gets worse.

The two main characters’ relationship reminds me of Johnny Cash and June Carter as portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in the movie Walk the Line. I liked how in love they seem – no wonder why it sparked rumours that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper had a fling! They’re a very convincing couple.

Actually, in so few words: Walk the Line + Burlesque + two and a half hours = A Star is Born.

The movie itself has brilliant music in it, especially everybody’s favourite song ‘Shallow‘. Despite a few plot holes and weird twists and turns, I can certainly appreciate that this movie stands out from the bunch this year.

But while the first quarter of the film was giving me chills and teary eyes, that quickly faded as the pacing of the film was getting slower and slower, and the story was getting longer and longer.

I looked over at my friend (Sascha) who appeared to be thinking the same thing: ‘where is this story going, and when will it end?’

Thankfully, Lady Gaga’s stunning performance almost made up for the dragged-out shots and painfully slow story line – she was a brilliant actress. Bradley Cooper looked the part too, with his rough exterior, long hair and diesel-engine voice.

After the movie finished, I thought I’d check out Lady Gaga’s Instagram as I was excited to follow her and be a fan of her acting career. But then quickly changed my mind as her Instagram isn’t a platform to showcase her talent or personality, it’s an album of her near-naked photos.

Then I remembered there were at least four scenes where Lady Gaga was naked for no reason in the movie. I realised that she’s just a woman who likes to get naked at the drop of a hat and talk total nonsense in interviews. Which was disappointing.

I guess I really only liked the character she was playing, which I suppose is credit to her acting talent.

My verdict is that the acting and the music is top notch, and this remake will probably win all the awards and be known as a Hollywood sensation. But the pacing is so slow and drawn out that even the heavy emotion of the story simply isn’t enough to keep you focused.

Therefore, if you’re looking for an emotional film about musicians falling in and out of love, I’d recommend watching Walk the Line instead. It’s got all the perks of A Star is Born –  hit songs, flawless acting and it still covers the same distressing issues (such as substance abuse). The difference being that the pacing is faster in Walk the Line and keeps you hooked.

The music, the performances and the cinematic beauty of this movie is wonderful. But the rest of it lets it down.

Jodie’s rating: 5/10

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About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working as a writer in UK. Follow me on Twitter @NZFilmFreak and like my Facebook page NZ Film Freak. Follow my travels around the world www.jodiehart.co.nz
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