A Star is Born – Review
by Cat Edwards
With many previous successful adaptations, Bradley Cooper’s retelling of A Star is Born had a lot to live up to. Fortunately, Cooper’s directorial debut does not disappoint.
The film details the simultaneous rise of one star, Ally, and the fall of another, Jackson Maine, played by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper respectively. It explores the relationship that evolves between the two as their lives intersect at opposing points in their musical careers.
Cooper’s work opens with a swaying camera which follows his character in a drunken haze as he approaches a stage. Any misgivings that the audience has, about whether or not Cooper will be realistic in the role of a damaged star, are erased as the cinematography encapsulates the audience completely. Gaga’s performance is equally intoxicating; at times, however, it is difficult to forget that it is Lady Gaga on screen and engage with Ally as a character. While the early stages of the romance between the characters feel rushed, the film reconciles this as the relationship between Ally and Jackson develops and the chemistry between Cooper and Gaga is palpable. Their believability as a couple carries the film to its tragic end, and the intimacy established between gives emotional impact to the conclusion.
Cooper’s style is evident in all scenes, creating a work that is aesthetically pleasing and engaging. Coupled with an impressive soundtrack, the audience is greeted with a film that displays the talents of its stars. The film has a few nostalgic nods to the previous releases, which starred Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand as the lead; however, this does not distract from this version of the story.
Cooper’s retelling is grounded in the twenty-first century with its attitude towards relationships, stardom and mental health and Cooper’s ability to retell a classic story whilst incorporating modern themes speaks about his skill as a director.