Love, fame and heartache in musical re­make

Talk of the Town - - Out On The Town -

A Star is Born, with Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam El­liott. Di­rected by Bradley Cooper. 4/5

Be­ing fa­mil­iar with the 1976 ver­sion star­ring Kris Kristof­fer­son and Barbra Streisand, it was a rev­e­la­tion to find out

had its ori­gins back in 1937 and has been re­made sev­eral times since then.

Bradley Cooper stars as Jack­son Maine, a suc­cess­ful but hard-drink­ing coun­try rock star whose life en­ters a down­ward spi­ral even as the young bar singer he meets, Ally Cam­pana (Lady Gaga), be­comes a pop sen­sa­tion through the ex­po­sure he gives her.

Find­ing the clos­est pub af­ter a con­cert he has per­formed at,

AJack­son ac­ci­den­tally en­ters a gay bar where drag queens are per­form­ing cabaret. But among the men pos­ing as women on­stage, Jack­son is mes­merised by Ally, who is singing

He is in­tro­duced to her in the dress­ing room af­ter the show and she is charmed by his flat­tery and af­fec­tion.

She agrees to go out for a drink and de­fends him from a drunk fan. They chat into the early hours, and Jack­son gets a glimpse of Ally’s tal­ent as a song­writer too.

So be­gins a whirl­wind ro­mance that starts out with so much prom­ise but soon is tainted by Jack­son’s al­co­holism and drug ad­dic­tion, as well as a sense of be­trayal and shame.

Ally gets her first big break when Jack­son in­vites her to per­form on­stage with him, his ear for mu­sic hav­ing de­vel­oped a lyric she sang to him on their first night out.

His fans are de­lighted with their beau­ti­ful duet, and so be­gins her many ap­pear­ances with Jack­son in con­cert.

She is soon no­ticed by a record pro­ducer and starts a sep­a­rate musical jour­ney to Jack­son, even as their re­la­tion­ship deep­ens.

We find out that Jack­son is not only an al­co­holic but suf­fer­ing from hear­ing loss which poses a risk to his ca­reer.

His long-suf­fer­ing brother Bobby (Sam El­liott) has been man­ag­ing his ca­reer, but ditches Jack­son over a squab­ble over their long-dead fa­ther.

As Ally is re­made into a pop diva, her early com­ments about her nose mak­ing her un­suit­able for star­dom are quite hu­mor­ous, es­pe­cially in that she has noth­ing on Streisand.

Gaga proves to be a ca­pa­ble ac­tor, and it was great hear­ing her lovely voice singing songs in a mu­sic genre a far cry from and

But Cooper steals the show with his amaz­ing, be­liev­able per­for­mance – and can re­ally sing. It’s an ex­cel­lent di­rec­to­rial de­but for him too.

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