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A Star Is Born Review

Spoiler Warning: mild plot spoilers alluded to within


A story that has been told more than once, remade for a new generation, with first time director Bradley Cooper and first time leading lady, Lady Gaga.

In the interests of full disclosure, other than her Superbowl halftime performance, I'm not overly familiar with, or a fan of her music. Likewise I've not seen any Bradley Cooper film, other than his voice work in the first Guardians of The Galaxy.

Given that, here are my thoughts on the film.

From the very opening, the scene is set convincingly. With any film documenting the live music experience, getting the 'feel' right is critical. Director Bradley Cooper nails this from the outset, and I was on board from this point. Other than the lead guitar parts where the camera conveniently can't quite see his fingers, Cooper is clearly playing in many scenes. His voice, both spoken and singing, sounds great for the world weary part.

Lady Gaga's ability as a performer is well established. Her ability as an actress, was yet to be proven. 

Well, she lights up this film like a flaming comet through a night sky. At no point did I think I was watching an established pop star. The little looks and hesitancy between her character, Ally, and Cooper's Jack were entirely convincing. The gradual blossoming into her talent, and the reluctance to go full pop star despite her ability to pull it off was a joy to watch. 

Both of the leads had me believing in the reality of their relationship despite it's flaws and doomed trajectory. Clearly the timeline of events is accelerated, necessarily so in order to fit everything into a two hour film. This was the only thing that took me out of the film a little, but the groundwork had been laid so effectively that it was a minor irritation. The heart of the film is their relationship after all, not a music documentary.

The other critical part of any music film is the songs. Other than "La Vie En Rose" all the songs are originals written for the film, and the quality is high. The two standouts are "Maybe It's Time" and in particular "Shallow".



Whilst the later pop numbers are less to my taste, the majority of what is on the soundtrack is very good indeed.

Overall, an absolute triumph for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
I heartily recommend this film and leave you with the above mentioned "Shallow".





Comments

  1. Superb! Great combination of melody and performances.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe It's Time - another great performance - must check out his other recordings.

    ReplyDelete

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