A Star is Born is an American musical romantic drama film produced and directed by Bradley Cooper and written by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters. It is a remake of the 1937 film of the same name and stars Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos and Sam Elliott.
The film follows the story of Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), a famous country music singer-songwriter who privately battles an alcohol and drug addiction. Following one of his concerts, and in search of a drink, he happens upon a gay bar in the middle of a drag queen show and is surprised when he sees a talented young woman called Ally (Lady Gaga) singing.
Jackson convinces Ally to have a drink with him where the pair quickly form a connection and he invites her to his next performance. Ally is initially reluctant to attend but after some persuading from her best friend Ramon (Anthony Ramos) she accepts but is shocked when she arrives to discover that Jackson has arranged for her to perform one of her owns songs with him on stage.
Her performance goes viral and before she knows it she is skyrocketing to music superstardom as her relationship with Jackson turns into a romantic one. Whilst everything is going well for Ally, Jackson is struggling to battle his demons and the realisation that his time in the spotlight may soon be over.
Stepping behind the camera for the first time, Bradley Cooper’s precise direction along with strong performances from the cast gives us a moving and tear-jerking love story in this third remake of the 1937 film.
Written by Cooper, Will Fetters (The Lucky One) and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) they succeed in putting a fresh spin on a recycled story without changing the basic structure of the plot. At the heart of the film is the relationships between the characters, whether it be the romance between Jackson and Ally or those with the people around them.
Jackson and Ally’s relationship is the emotional core of the film and this really benefits from the chemistry between Cooper and Gaga. Cooper in particular delivers an emotionally rich performance making the character of Jackson a charismatic and sympathetic one despite his self-destructive behaviour.
The film is at its best when it focuses on the drama between the characters and how they deal with their own emotions and traumatic experiences.
There are also stand out performances from the ensemble cast including Sam Elliott as Jackson’s put upon brother and manager and Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s father Lorenzo, who manages to be funny and touching in equal measure.
The film is further boosted by the memorable original songs and singing by both Cooper (who does really well despite his lack of singing background) and of course Lady Gaga. The film’s concert musical numbers are also visually striking by cinematographer Matthew Libatique.
A Star is Born is a great start to Cooper’s directing career. With its excellent soundtrack and impressive acting this is definitely a must see film!