There has been so much hype surrounding A Star is Born for months that I wondered if that’s all it was: hype. This has happened many times before, in all aspects of the entertainment industry, however with the film being 91 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, an 8.6 rating on IMDb and the endless amounts of praise its received from critics, I knew that it was going to be one heck of a great ride from start to finish.
I was right. It was f***ing amazing. A film that has been done three times before rarely is as good the fourth time around (has that even existed in the past?), butBradley Cooper’s directing, writing and acting, Lady Gaga’s superb performance and a soundtrack that is on the same level as legendary ones like The Bodyguardmade this film one of the best (if not best) movie I’ve seen so far this year.
The story revolves around an aging musician named Jackson Maine (Cooper) who stumbles into a bar one night to find a girl named Ally (Gaga) performing on stage. It was a drag theme that evening, where iconic queens like Shangela and Willam only enhance this already fabulous ensemble with their humor, wit and timing. I am so glad to see that their scenes made it into the movie and how their performances didn’t feel campy at all. Heck, this entire film could’ve been campy but it wasn’t. At all.
Jackson and Ally then have a peculiar night together after, where she punches a guy at a bar when the patron gets too close to him which leads to them going to a random supermarket so he can get her something to heal her hand (turns out it was a bag of peas and some tape). Both scenes revolve around her telling him that she’s a songwriter but that she doesn’t sing her own tracks due to the industry telling her that she isn’t good looking enough. He sees it the opposite and is enamored with her from the get go.
He eventually stalks her enough to the point where he wants her to join him on this big stage and perform a song that she’s written called “Shallow”. This was one of my favorite parts of the movie, as you can see the incredible hesitation for Ally to not go on stage but also a desire to be there next to him to perform the song that she’s written. She emerges and sings the hell out of “Shallow”, which in my opinion should win Best Original Song at the Oscars next year, and this is where the title of the movie resonates with the character she plays.
Due to people recording their duet in the audience, Ally is able to meet with the right record executive who thinks she’s the real deal and wants to sign her. While all of this is going on, Jackson is struggling with his alcoholism which Ally does a really good job at handling throughout the film. His battle between the bottle and wanting the best for her and him plays out in many scenes, where the former becomes a much bigger problem as the movie progresses.
When her image starts to change from regular singer-songwriter to glammed up pop star, she and Jackson start to argue and things become quite tense for them to the point where he says something extremely ugly about her to her face. The issues with each other and their own lives continue to grow until it becomes too much for one of them in the end to handle.
I want to leave this review as minimal as possible to not give too much of it away, but hopefully you get the gist of it. The chemistry between Cooper and Gaga is extraordinary and their acting is beyond incredible from start to finish. I actually forgot that I was looking at Gaga for most of it, just saw her as Ally. In a way, we are all Ally, just trying to make a stamp and find our place in the world. Both of these actors did an amazing job at telling this story and I hope that they get the recognition they deserve come award show season.
What did you think of A Star is Born?
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.