A Star is Born (2018)

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A Star is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film produced and directed by Bradley Cooper in his directorial debut. The film is a remake of the 1937 film of the same name and stars Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott. The story is about a musician with a really bad drinking problem (Cooper) who falls in love with a younger singer (Gaga) that he discovers while preforming at a drag bar. It is the fourth remake of the original 1937 film, which starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, after the 1954 musical that starred Judy Garland and James Mason and the 1976 rock musical version that starred Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. This version is closer to the 1976 one.

Although, we really didn’t need another remake of A Star is Born, this one is surprisingly very good. If you haven’t seen the other three, you must watch them, before or after this one, to compare them. Even though this version follows the Streisand version rather closely, I still find it MUCH BETTER. The 70s one is definitely the worst one out of them all. I love Barbra Streisand and she did a great job, but it was Kris Kristofferson’s acting that made it bad. His music was fantastic and that was all the good he did for it.

Bradley Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, closely resembles Kristofferson’s John Norman Howard and Lady Gaga’s character is much like Streisand’s Esther Hoffman Howard. But Cooper, unlike Kristofferson, does outstanding in both acting and performing. Gaga (as Ally) is great in her performing, but her acting could use a little polishing up at times. She isn’t a terrible actress, but I only see her winning awards for the music she sang. Cooper put on an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy worthy performance.

Both this version and the 70s one, are different from the 1937 and 1954 versions, because they focus on music, unlike the first two that focus on acting. Either way, they are all about performing, fame, love, loss, marriage and substance abuse. They are also all heartwarming, make you angry at times and tragic.

Sam Elliott, who plays Jackson’s older brother and manager Bobby Maine, does a great job. Andrew Dice Clay, who portrays Ally’s father Lorenzo, does splendidly in his role. Dave Chappelle, in his role as George Stone, Jackson’s best friend, did good, but his character was too short lived.

All the music in this film (except for the pop star stuff) is wonderful and deserving of Oscar and Grammy nominations. The songs are extremely well written and performed, definitely one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a long, long time.

Bradley Cooper portrays the alcoholic and drug addict musician perfectly. It is hard to believe he only took voice and guitar lessons for several months. Gaga’s portrayal as a waitress and Piaf/Dietrich style performer, dreaming of becoming a real singer, was good, not great, but she was better in the acting then I expected. She looked stunning without all the makeup, wigs and wild costumes. It made me take back everything negative I’ve said about her. I think this film changed her for the better.

This is definitely one of the best musicals I’ve seen in years. 18+ 4.5

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