A Star Is Born
There’s very little positive to be said about Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, the third remake of the classic 1937 film. Starring Lady Gaga in the role of aspiring singer Ally, and Cooper as Jackson Maine, a successful country rocker who launches her career, A Star Is Born is a sequence of unrealistic and badly scripted (despite Eric Roth’s co-writing credit) scenes where the two real-life stars show off their talent.
Lady Gaga, often compared to Madonna, is more Barbra Streisand in this context – who played the same role in the 1976 version. She tries to appear as a simple girl from the suburbs but as soon as she holds a microphone her exuberance erupts – and rightly so. She does a passable job at acting, without any particular merits. While the leads do not shine, Sam Elliot brings some much-needed character and honesty to the film.
Bland dialogue fills scenes where things happen too quickly and smoothly: Cooper sees Gaga and recognises her potential immediately; within 24 hours he provides a jet to bring her to his concert where he invites her to join him on stage and sing a song she had hummed the day before – which Cooper’s character has already arranged in full (yes, it’s that ridiculous). And then there’s the conflictual relationship, their love hindered by alcoholism, depicted through a myriad of stereotypes.
A Star Is Born is a largely unnecessary picture that belongs to those early 2000s, TV-worthy Hollywood mainstream features with a nice budget aiming at pleasing a broad audience. A phase the American movie industry quickly moved on from. It’s a disappointing debut for a revered actor and a needless remake. At least Gaga sings and it will undoubtedly amuse all her fans.
A Star Is Born is released nationwide on 5th October 2018.
Read more reviews from our Venice Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Venice Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for A Star Is Born here: