Gaga’s star is well and truly on the rise
The top film nationwide is the new version of A Star Is Born (15) with Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) scoring a personal success in her first big screen appearance.
Previously trained in drama she sheds her ludicrous pop persona to give a genuine character performance as a young singer groomed for stardom by a failing hard-drinking musician played by Bradley Cooper who also directs and produces.
The story is hardly new, this is the fourth version but the two stars and especially Gaga, give this doomed romance new life and for new young audiences coming fresh to it this will become the definitive version. This is showing at Newton Stewart Cinema and The Fullarton in Castle Douglas on Sunday. It is already sold out but there is a repeat on Tuesday.
At Newton Stewart on Tuesday there is a special screening of the Peter Jackson film They Shall Not Grow Old (15), a remarkable digitally restored and coloured archive film of action in the First World War. Containing archive films from the British War Museum, these grainy black and white images spring to life in this new version accompanied by the words of veterans taken from the BBC sound archives. As we commemorate 100 years since the end of the war this is a superb visual memorial.
Back at The Fullarton the Friday film has Rowan Atkinson back for more bungling adventures in Johnny English Strikes Again (PG). The Saturday film has a special local interest in that The Wife (15) was partly filmed at the Arbigland estate at Carsethorn near Dumfries and at Glasgow and the Concord at East Lothian. The Carsethorn location mirrored the east coast of America and Glasgow stood in for Stockholm.
Glen Close is being tipped for an Oscar as the wife of a successful author, played by Jonathan Price, who has subjugated her own talent and ambitions to support his rise to fame. This is also at The Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre in Dumfries tomorrow and Saturday plus Tuesday to Thursday. Ticket availability is now limited so check for details.
On Saturday there is a late show repeat of the zombie musical Anna and the Apocalypse (15+), in advance of release at the end of the month. The Monday alternative is the heartwarming documentary of the journey through rural France by the veteran film maker Agnes Varda and the photographer JR.
The Friday film at The Birchvale Theatre in Dalbeattie is the story of frustrated love, On Chesil Beach (12A) based on the book by Ian McEwan. Two young newlyweds find their honeymoon bliss blighted by their inexperience and sexual frigidity on their honeymoon.
Also meriting a mention is the good work being done by Driftwood Touring Cinema bringing the best in classic and current releases to rural communities in the south west. Tomorrow at Port Logan there is the excellent French film, Untouchable (15), in which a paraplegic aristocrat hires a young companion and finds his life transformed. Next Wednesday in the Toll Booth Arts Centre in Kirkcudbright there is the reissue of the period classic The Piano (15) in which a mute woman travels to New Zealand in the 1850s with her daughter and her prised piano, for an arranged marriage.
The music score by Michael Nyman has become a classic.
Hapless spy Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English Strikes Again
A Star is Born Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga