Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper blend well into the world of music and addiction with unexpected chemistry.
While A Star is Born is another remake of a movie that has come out for each new generation since 1937, it made something old new again. First thing Cooper’s version did was change some of the names (guess he had to since he made sure some scenes were repeated from the 1976 Streisand version). Instead of Kris Kristofferson’s John Norman Maine and Barbara Streisand‘s Esther Hoffman, we were presented with Cooper (looking a lot like Kris’s character) as Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga (wearing vintage attire that might have almost fit into the 1976 version) as Ally.
The music in the movie is amazing but more of a retro modern and makes for a terrific album. The selection of songs hits poignant notes throughout, which allows the music to move the timeless tale further along.
This new version of A Star is Born gives a deeper, new insight into the music industry. Showing the public how you have to maintain a certain image to be on top, even if that image is not the one you started with. It also shows how much the people around you influence you as well, as Ally learns quickly. This makes her relationship with Maine strained.
While many of you may know how the tale ends, Cooper’s version changes it up a bit and brings tears to your eyes. We get much more meaning to the how’s and why’s the characters act the way they do that in the previous versions of the movie. And you will definitely need tissues by the time you get to the end, so stock up on those napkins when you hit the popcorn station on the way in.
Another difference between this movie and its predecessors is that we get to see the meanings and drives behind the characters. There is much more build up so that you know where the characters are coming from and learn and accept who they are by the end. Something that was deeply missed in the 1976 version, because frankly, you don’t miss John Norman Maine by the end, unlike Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine. Cooper allows the viewer to see a much softer side to the male character and the reasoning behind the drugs and alcohol that seems to fuel his character throughout the movie.
Overall, despite my skepticism, I would rate this movie a solid 4 ½ stars out of 5. I would love to up that to five stars, but there were a few things that threw me off. First were the various repeats of the 1976 movie, that did not necessarily need to be there. Second, I did not feel very grounded in what time period the movie was taking place. There was too much vintage wear, too many outdated furniture and other items, and the songs could have fit anytime between now and the last movie. There was no for sure grounding period until almost the end of the movie when Ally started to become a star.
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Photo Credit: WB Pictures