Bradley Cooper co-writes and directs the latest in a long line of remakes of the classic tale A Star Is Born, about a big star taking on a fledgling artist who becomes an even bigger star. There’s nothing deeply revealing or original about this movie, but it is exceptionally well cast and I found it very effective.
Bradley Cooper stars (in addition to directing) as Jackson Maine, a boozy, drug-fuelled rock star who stumbles into a drag bar one night in search of a drink only to discover Ally, played by Lady Gaga, who has the most amazing voice he’s ever heard. She lacks self-belief but with his help finds a way to embrace herself and go on to find success as a musician, but at the cost of their relationship. I found the movie to be pretty predictable and superficial but it really worked because of its cast, particularly Lady Gaga who turns out to be a very good actress. The supporting cast is all great too, with Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Elliott among others.
Everyone on screen is very appealing, which helps make the movie work. The songs are good, but I don’t have the best ear for music so that’s as much as I can say about it. One thing I admired about the movie was its way of avoiding cliche, despite the familiarity of the subject matter. As much as I could see the end coming from before the movie even began, I still shed a tear because I was so invested in the characters. This movie is all about casting.
I really like A Star Is Born and would recommend it. It’s a familiar story given a compelling spin by two very well-cast leads, a perfect example of how important casting is to making a movie work. It’s not the greatest movie ever made, but it is a very pleasant two-hour entertainment. I liked it a lot.