A Star is Born (2018) Review

Time: 136 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Sex scenes, offensive language & drug use
Cast:
Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine
Lady Gaga as Ally Campana-Maine
Sam Elliott as Bobby Maine
Dave Chappelle as George “Noodles” Stone
Andrew Dice Clay as Lorenzo Campana
Director: Bradley Cooper

Seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

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There had been a lot of hype for A Star is Born building up for a while. I knew Bradley Cooper was directing, and that he would star alongside Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott. It seemed like a very familiar kind of movie that’s been done before, but because of all the attention and acclaim I decided that I would get around to seeing it when it finally comes out. I was not prepared for how incredible A Star is Born would be. The excellent performances, Bradley Cooper’s direction, the whole story, everything was incredibly done and all came together to culminate in a remarkable film and definitely one of the best of the year.

A Star is Born is actually the 4th remake of the original movie, I haven’t seen any of the previous movies and so I’ll treat this movie as its own thing. Going into A Star is Born, I was a little iffy with the story seeming really familiar. Despite the somewhat familiar story, it doesn’t at any point feel cliché. Any time that the story feels like it’s going to go down a cliché route, it subverts into a different direction. And the times where it does some go down the familiar story paths, it executes it in a way that feels genuine and real and not just because the story needed it to be that way. The whole film feels really honest and real, and there is a lot of emotion put into the story. While I haven’t seen the other movies, they did a great job putting this story in today’s time period. One thing that I heard that some people have said that the first half is a lot better than the second half, but while the first half is more enjoyable and entertaining, the second works as it should. The first half is really all about the rise and has a lot of music performances and the second half has some scenes which are a little hard to watch but that’s how it really should be for the story. A Star is Born is about 2 hours and 10 minutes long and from start to finish I was loving it.

Everyone acting here does incredibly well. There’s some recognisable people here but their performances are so great that you just see their characters, not the actors. Bradley Cooper has given some great performances in the past, but this is the best I’ve seen him, and that’s saying a lot. It’s incredibly subtle and nuanced, so believable. It’s also one of those performances where multiple times you forget that it’s a recognisable actor playing the role, and I’ve seen him in a lot of movies. I’m very familiar with Lady Gaga’s music but wasn’t familiar with her acting. She has acted on screen before, winning an Golden Globe for acting on American Horror Story even but her appearances in movies up until now has pretty much been as cameos. However as one of the leads here, she really proved herself to be a great acting talent. She’s not only great on the music side, like Cooper you don’t see her, you just see the character. This movie is heavily focussed on Bradley Cooper’s Jack and Lady Gaga’s Ally and their chemistry is incredible and believable. Sam Elliott is also great as Cooper’s brother. Elliott is always great in everything he’s in but he really brings it as well, again believable and subtle. Even Dave Chappelle and Andrew Dice Clay, both comedians, are really good and believable in their supporting roles in this movie.

A Star is Born is Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut but you wouldn’t know that just from watching this movie. His direction is absolutely great and it’s pretty clear that he’s a master behind the camera, I’d love to see him direct more things after this. There are some big concert scenes and it really puts you right there. Because of these scenes, I really do recommend seeing the movie in the biggest cinema near you, especially with a great sound system. One that note, the music is also incredible, with many memorable and great songs. All the singing that you see isn’t dubbed, it’s actual singing. Unsurprisingly Lady Gaga’s singing was great but Bradley Cooper is also impressive, especially considering he didn’t use to sing or play guitar and started it for this movie and he’s a natural at it.

A Star is Born is a fantastic film. Bradley Cooper (both behind and in front of the camera), Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott and the rest of the cast and crew has delivered a really great movie here. A Star is Born is one of the best films of the year and as of this point it might actually be my current favourite film of the year.

2 thoughts on “A Star is Born (2018) Review

  1. Pingback: Ranking the 2019 Best Picture Nominees | The Cinema Critic

  2. Pingback: Top 30 Best Movies of 2018 | The Cinema Critic

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