Love, fame and heartache in musical remake
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.