A Star Is Born – Review

I’m convinced that this isn’t Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut. It’s as if he made 10 films in secret before making this! 

A Star is Born revolves around Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down.

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I had medium expectations going into A Star is Born. I love Bradley Cooper as an actor, but I wasn’t sure how he was gonna do as a director. However, reviews from the various film festivals it played in were extremely strong, so I decided to see the movie and I ended up absolutely loving the hell out of A Star Is Born.

The first aspect of A Star Is Born that I loved was Bradley Cooper’s direction which despite the fact that this is Bradley’s very first film as a director, He pulled off one of the most impressive directorial debuts I’ve seen. Bradley Cooper is in control of every frame here, in the way he blocks, frames, shoots, and stylizes. This is especially seen in the concert sequences, which are mostly done through close-ups and long takes, which it adds so much realism to the film. There are so many moments here that are so intoxicating that gave me feelings I haven’t felt in such a long time. 

The direction may be amazing but, what about the film itself? A Star is Born manages to also tell such a remarkable story for a film that’s a remake of such a classic film. The story here is one of the ages, and while that may sound basic, It’s the way it’s written and told that makes it so special. All the characters here have a purpose and adds something to the film whether it’s a major role or a small one. There is so much depth to these characters and you get to know so much about them that by the end of the film, you will care and adore all these characters. The story itself is also very captivating since Bradley Cooper takes his time to set up the characters and conflicts that by the climax of the film, you actually care for everything happening. It’s especially in the first act that the film is just so intoxicating from how dreamlike and beautiful it is. This also has one of the best final acts of the year and the way it ends is simply incredible.

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The performances here are also phenomenal. Bradley Cooper gives one of his best performances here as a damaged individual who suffers from alcohol addiction. Cooper is extremely subtle in every single scene and the little touches he puts in his performance is just awesome. I was extremely skeptical about Lady Gaga being in this since I had zero idea what to expect from her acting abilities. I’m so happy to report that Lady Gaga blew me away to pieces from her performance. Gaga manages to work so naturally with her character and nails every single scene here. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s chemistry here is one of the most real things I have seen all year as they work so naturally well together. Sam Elliot and Dave Chappelle also have supporting roles here and they are also extremely great. In general, the whole entire cast gives 110% into this film.

For a movie that promises songs and Lady Gaga in the lead, you would surely expect one hell of a soundtrack to come out of this. The soundtrack for A Star is Born is simply nothing short of amazing. Every single track from the film is so memorable and so catchy. What I loved most of all is that most of these tracks are performed live which allows you to really hear the passion coming out of Cooper and Gaga. The Shallows is specifically the highlight here in this soundtrack and I cannot wait for the rest soundtrack to drop very soon. Finally, the cinematography by Matthiew Libatique was simply breathtaking. There are so many shots here that are simply beautiful from how the colors and lighting were used.

My only real problem is that near the beginning of the 3rd act is where A Star is Born starts to slow down for a bit. It’s not a huge deal breaker but I just found that there could’ve been a few moments cut from it. 

Overall, A Star is Born is simply one of the best films you can watch in theaters right now. In it’s 2 hour and Fifteen Minute run time it manages to immerse you to one of the richest stories of the year that will uplift and break your heart by the end. Add in the incredible direction, performances, songs, and cinematography and you have one hell of a film. Do not be surprised if A Star is Born ends up sweeping nominations across the board. I am all for it!

9/10

Warner Brothers is releasing A Star Is Born on October 5th 2018

 

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