A Star is Born Review: Cooper’s first directorial outing is a true rise to stardom with the help of Lady Gaga

This year has seen plenty of well-regarded and fan-favorite actors take a step behind the camera and take on directing roles for passion projects. John Krasinski took on the horror genre with A Quiet Place and Jonah Hill is going to be taking viewers back in time with Mid90s, but this past weekend Bradley Cooper shared his new film A Star is Born. The film is actually the third remake of the 1937 original of the same name, so clearly it must have strong enough material to be remade a third time, right?

Well, it mostly does as Cooper and Lady Gaga have really great chemistry and Cooper has crafted an incredible cinematic experience that audiences will undoubtedly not forget. The film’s concert scenes are truly a spectacle and seeing the full-scope on the big scene not only shows how big Cooper’s vision is, but also make audience’s jaws drop. Not to mention, the fact that Cooper actually got fans of Gaga to be a part of the film shows his dedication to crafting authentic moments.

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A Star is Born has been remade for different eras and Cooper’s version is something perfect for a new generation. PHOTO: New York Times

These moments also showcase the film’s really great soundtrack that’s helped by Lady Gaga’s powerful singing. With her teaming up with Cooper to make each song in A Star is Born truly memorable, Gaga brings all that she has to make the film’s music incredibly unique. Hearing the two come together on-screen really helped define how music helps bring them together.

The film is full of relationships on-screen between lovers, friends, and family, but it noticeably has trouble with establishing them with full emotion. While Cooper and Gaga have great chemistry, their relationship is represented more like a fantasy and it doesn’t allow the audience to delve into their relationship fully. It constantly feels like their relationship is shown more through songs and montages rather than conversation. Their relationship is also just shown through big milestones and the film moves very fast and many might find themselves getting whiplash due to how quickly their relationship moves. Not to mention, its hits all of the familiar beats that have been done in plenty of other films and it makes their relationship incredibly predictable.

Cooper and Gaga’s characters are also kind of just oddballs and it definitely adds to why they are so attracted together, but it constantly made me feel confused by their choices. For instance, Gaga’s character Ally constantly says how she doesn’t want to change her look in order to have an authentic look, but she changes this view for no reason and basically just becomes Lady Gaga. It feels kind of odd considering it’s a big component of her character and it’s not really touched upon.

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Seeing the full-scope of Cooper’s vision is truly something that has to be experienced. PHOTO: WBUR

The rest of the cast also brings some solid moments, even if they are short-lived. It felt refreshing to see Dave Chappelle back on the big screen and while he put in a fun performance, his character isn’t given much to do and doesn’t really end up being anything important. Sam Elliot also brings some fun moments as Cooper’s brother/manager and the two even share some very meta dialogue that I found to be really fun.

A Star is Born also wrestles with some truly emotional moments and its decently easy to get hook by the film’s story. The film goes through plenty of highs and lows and many viewers will find A Star is Born to be one of the most emotional experiences in a while. If my theater was an indication of the emotional weight of A Star is Born, you might want to bring tissues because there were many viewers will tears rolling down their faces.

To say that A Star is Born could be a film that will be heavily talked about during awards season, would be an understatement. It has performances that cannot be missed and Cooper’s excellent direction has definitely shown that he deserves recognition. Only time will tell if A Star is Born can reach the heights it’s predicted to hit, but it’s absolutely a film that audiences will love.

4

Watch the trailer here:

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