‘A Star Is Born’ Review: Born Again

Anyone who knows me well knows that I spend a decent chunk of my income on music. More specific than music, I spend big bucks on live music. Today, I got to fuse my favorite pastime (concert going) with my favorite hobby (going to the movies) as I sat down to watch the masterpiece that is A Star Is Born.

The fourth incarnation of A Star Is Born certainly lives up to its title. Just like its predecessors, this version follows a successful male musician, Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine, who now struggles with addiction as he navigates the music industry after finding the extremely talented ingenue Ally, who is portrayed brilliantly by acting newcomer Lady Gaga. As her career begins to surpass his, Jack and Ally must confront the harsh reality that is stardom.

What truly shines in A Star Is Born are the performances. Cooper and Gaga have the best onscreen chemistry of every couple in film that I’ve seen this year. Gaga’s Ally has a star-in-the-making quality that just radiates absolute positivity in this story that takes many dark turns during its nearly 2 ½ hour run time.

I still have yet to see Lady Gaga act in the two seasons she spend on the set of FX’s American Horror Story, but after this film, it is evident that she’s destined to become more than an international pop star. She’s destined to become an Academy award winning actress. She portrays Ally as someone who is reliable, loving and just downright endearing. It’s magnificent if nothing else.

After many years of nominations and no wins, I feel as though Bradley Cooper, who also directed/produced/co-wrote the film, has given himself the perfect vehicle to not only win himself the statue for Best Actor but also garner nominations for Best Picture and Director.

Even in the light of Cooper’s and Gaga’s rising stars, the real standout in the film is the incredible soundtrack. A song like ‘Shallow’ is fated to be nominated and likely win Best Original Song at the Oscars. Fingers crossed that they perform it live as well.

In a cinematic world that feels filled with half-cocked remakes and sequels, a fourth rehashing of A Star Is Born is an absolute necessity. While it may struggle a bit in the second act, it portrays a deep, swelling love story combined with the glamor and heartache of fame. At times, it feels like you are truly standing at the barricade of a real concert, and you just can’t beat that feeling.

Final Score: 9.5/10