RTÉ Guide

A Star is Born (2018) 9.50pm, Saturday, RTÉ One


‘’I won’t do this again: I won’t come and nd you’’

The Star is Born scenario – in which one newcomer achieves success even as the stock of their more establishe­d partner is plummeting – is a classic Hollywood trope. Indeed this is the fourth drama to tackle the story, beginning with Janet Gaynor & Fredric March in 1937; followed by Judy Garland & James Mason in 1954 and Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristo erson in 1976. Bradley Cooper chose this time-honoured scenario as the basis for his directoria­l debut. But he went even further than that. He took on producing, screenwrit­ing and composing duties, while also playing the male lead and providing his own vocals.

For all these Herculean e orts, Bradley is overshadow­ed by Lady Gaga, who channels her inner Garland and Streisand to deliver a powerhouse performanc­e. Dramatical­ly, this is an emotional rollercoas­ter of a movie with Cooper’s character sinking further into a cocktail of booze and pills while partner Gaga’s success continues unabated. As a director, Cooper is good at capturing the vibrancy of these performanc­es (some lmed at real-life Gaga gigs), and he’s helped by Gaga’s compelling screen presence and towering voice. Also good are Sam Elliott and Andrew Dice Clay in support. If there’s one gripe, it’s that, since every generation produces its own

Star is Born, this one could have said more about the role played by social media, paparazzi and 24-hour entertainm­ent sites in the modern cult of celebrity. That apart, there’s much to admire in Cooper’s impressive, Oscarwinni­ng debut.

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