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