Review of 'A Star is Born'

a_star_is_born.jpg After a concert musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) visits a local drag bar where he finds himself spellbound at the natural talent of singer Ally (Lady Gaga). He coaxes her into singing on stage with him at his next concert where she puts on an incredible performance, showing she has what it takes. Her career takes off, signing to produce an album and multiple concerts. Ally and “Jack” are very much in love but as her fame blossoms his alcoholism begins to threaten his career and destroy both of their lives.

An astounding performance by Lady Gaga as the young talented Ally whose easy-going innocence and incredible talent is there for all to see. This is part love story and part concert with plenty of wonderful music including a number of Gaga's songs. When the film was made Gaga was already very famous but you would never tell that from her natural, raw performance here of a woman very much doubting herself but willing to take a chance on achieving all she ever wanted. Bradley Cooper is utterly convincing as the older, talented musician hardened by the industry who spots in Ally the best of what he could be but eventually leading to jealousy and self-pity as he spirals into the pit of alcohol an drugs.

“A Star is Born” feels very real with not a lot of dialogue but a lot of emotion and honest feeling. The story unfolds in a natural way with sequences feeling like they have been shot from real life with little effort to conceal it's messiness. This is not a glamourous depiction of fame but is an honest one. It helps that both leads have amazing talents on the stage which work very well together as they fall into and out of love. If the end doesn't bring a tear to your eye I am not sure what will.

A compelling drama of finding oneself, the trappings of fame and the price this often extracts. To boot, it also has some really good music…

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2023-08-06

Directed by: Bradley Cooper

Studio: Warner Bros.

Year: 2018

Length: 136 minutes

Genre: Melodrama