A STAR IS BORN GIVES BIRTH TO A NEW MOVIE STAR — AND A NEW DIREC­TOR

Direc­tor Bradley Cooper and co-star Lady Gaga make for in­spired col­lab­o­ra­tors

StarMetro Edmonton - - FRONT PAGE - Peter How­ell

Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born is a tra­di­tional Hol­ly­wood ro­mance crafted to sum­mon tears and woo Os­cars. This is no small as­pi­ra­tion or achieve­ment. Ac­tor-turned-film­maker Cooper and his co-star, Lady Gaga, make for in­spired col­lab­o­ra­tors, do­ing much more than play the star-crossed lead cou­ple. It’s Cooper’s first time as direc­tor and Gaga’s first ma­jor movie role, but you’d never guess it from the skill and pas­sion they bring to the project.

He plays Jack­son Maine, a vet­eran rock star on the way down; she’s Ally, a singer-song­writer in­génue on the way up. The two con­nect ro­man­ti­cally and mu­si­cally, as they take an all-too-fa­mil­iar tale of love, am­bi­tion and fate and make it seem as fresh as a first kiss.

The movie is set in mod­ern times, but it feels time­less, be­fit­ting a tale that has been filmed three times pre­vi­ously. Cooper and Gaga have lov­ingly tended to all as­pects of the pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing con­tribut­ing to the songs and mu­si­cal per­for­mances that have been writ­ten and staged to en­hance the tale. There’s no ques­tion that the mu­sic en­ter­tains — and no­body can seize the spot­light like Gaga.

Well-cho­sen sup­port­ing star Sam El­liott, who plays Cooper’s older brother and man­ager, and co­me­dian Dave Chap­pelle, who plays a close friend and mu­si­cal as­so­ciate, con­tribute to the awards ku­dos buzz that this film is des­tined to at­tract.

In a nod to dig­i­tal times, Ally’s rise to fame be­gins af­ter Jack­son pulls her onto the stage at one of his shows to sing her tune “Shal­low” and some­one up­loads the per­for­mance to YouTube. The ris­ing stars of to­day now need to go vi­ral to reach their apogee.

But this is also the story of a down­ward tra­jec­tory and, once again, the Cooper/Gaga team proves up to the chal­lenge. How does this A Star is Born stack up to pre­vi­ous ver­sions? Full re­view, thes­tar.com/movies

CLAY ENOS/WARNER BROS

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have lov­ingly tended to all as­pects of A Star Is Born, in­clud­ing con­tribut­ing to the mu­sic.

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