A Star is Born hits the high notes
IS THERE a movie that is more hyped up this year than A Star is Born?
The third remake of a classic Hollywood flick, the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga film is an impressive spectacle that hits most of the emotional highs and lows audiences want from a movie that promises to take you on a melodramatic journey.
Not melodramatic in a bad way, melodramatic in that everything is heightened – the triumphs are soaring, the tragedies are crushing. Musicals are not subtle beasts.
Is it perfect, the most amazing movie you’ll see this year? No, but it is pretty great.
Bradley Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a countryrock star who commands adulation but whose star is on the wane after years of battling drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the hearing condition tinnitus.
Coming off a roaring gig, he goes to a bar where he sees Ally (Lady Gaga) performing a soulful rendition of Edith Piaf’s
La Vie En Rose. Ally is an aspiring singer who, despite her obvious talent, has been rejected by countless labels because she doesn’t have the right “look”.
Jack is immediately enchanted and while she’s initially hesitant, they bond over an evening – she singing her songs for him in a supermarket carpark, him magnetised by her presence.
By the next night, she’s on stage at his next concert, belting out the song she sang for him in the carpark, now fully arranged.
It’s A Star is Born’s most exultant moment.
That’s also the moment Ally is “discovered”.
The first hour of the 2 hours 15 minutes A Star is
Born is transcendent; it’s utterly amazing, like a drug taking you on the most marvellous high.
The back half is different. It loses its dynamism as it starts to drag.
While imperfect, A Star is Born is a satisfying and emotionally evocative epic.
EMOTIONAL FILM: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in a scene from the movie A Star is Born.