The latest iteration (the fourth, to be exact) of A Star is Born is deftly helmed by star Bradley Cooper and features knockout performances by both him and co-star Lady Gaga. Their chemistry is palpable and feels natural, which adds to the authentic atmosphere of the film. The plot follows Ally (Gaga), a waitress who has dreams of being a famous singer. She meets country artist Jackson Maine (Cooper) one night at a bar she’s performing at, and this chance encounter ends up changing both of their lives, in both good and bad ways. Sure, the story beats can be predictable and seem to happen too fast at points, but they still hooked me in and had me invested in both characters and their lives. I was cheering them on during their triumphs and my heart ached when they suffered setbacks.
Cooper expertly (and painfully) portrayed alcoholic Maine, proving he can sing the hell out of a country tune (and cause ovaries to burst) while simultaneously breaking your heart. Lady Gaga is a complete natural and makes Ally feel like a living, breathing person who embodies all the dreamers and artists out there (not to mention her impressive pipes are put on full display). Outstanding supporting turns from Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, and Rafi Gavron add layers to the character’s stories, and surprise cameos add a delightful twist to the viewing experience.
I felt an immense emotional connection to both Ally and Jackson, and was sobbing by the end of the film. Cooper expertly framed this film, and the cinematography and lighting are pitch-perfect, conveying the sense of seeing a concert/awards show and the main character’s lives up close and personal. The songs are powerful and memorable (and you’ll definitely want to purchase the soundtrack), and the two hour plus run time goes by in the blink of an eye. Go see A Star is Born ASAP (and pack plenty of tissues).
*If you want to see more of my movie ratings, follow me on Letterboxd. I watch a movie per day!
**All images courtesy of Warner Bros., LiveNation Productions, and MGM.