You probably don’t need much encouragement to see this film based on the crowds at the session I saw it but if you are hesitating, don’t.
It is magnificent.
In fact it’s hard not to throw every superlative cliché at it – tour de force comes immediately to mind – but they all would do this movie injustice.
From its opening riff you just know you are safe hands with the capital D drama that makes this film both traditional in feel and thoroughly modern at the same time.
So just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. If you haven’t already heard Lady Gaga is the standout here. It surprised me to discover she already has a Golden Globe for best actress in “American Horror Story” but only in that I didn’t know about it. If she is not showered with awards for this performance there is something very wrong.
It is nuanced and glorious, open and honest. She leans in. Right in. It’s raw at times, wide eyed at others but you really believe in her character.
Cooper gives the performance of his career. He is almost unrecognisable as the slowly fading country rock star with the gravelly voice and the weather beaten face.
Fact is, even if you don’t know the story line it’s pretty obvious early on this is going to end in tears but right up to the last second I found myself hoping it wouldn’t.
Having lived with a family of alcoholics I understand how the narcissistic self-involved behaviour is toxic and damaging to everything around them no matter how well intended they are.
Hits its Mark Wonderfully
The film incorporates some thoroughly modern themes and tones in a subtle way with big hearted performance from all the supporting cast that provide depth and humour to the film but never distract from the main arc happening right in front of you.
Bradley is a fine Director. He obviously has a knack for performance and the film is lush in its cinematography.
If that’s not enough to convince you the music is the cherry on top of this delicious melodrama.
It’s no surprise that Lady Gaga sings. But Cooper will astound you with his pitch perfect country toned gravelly voice with an impressive range. And the filming of the concerts is where it is at its luscious best with glorious colours and fabulous close ups creating an intimacy with the characters unexpected given the large emotional numbers.
My only downside is it does get a little laboured in the middle of the film with a gratuitous critique of pop culture but otherwise delivers a wonderful romantic drama, awesome sound and a satisfying emotional pull.
Watch the “A Star is Born” Trailer…
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