A Star is Born (2018) review
Most people will never have an idea with the pressure that celebrities are put under. Their put under the spotlight to showcase their talent and to face another popular face similar to theirs and have to find ways to be unpredictable, but great. This is why the music industry and Hollywood have been known for being unkind businesses. You ever notice that when asked about being famous, a lot of celebrities reply, "don't"? Is it because they'll have moments where they were once godlike, only to be cast aside because their not "hip and cool"? I can't imagine the hurt they receive. I can only hope that those people have something or someone to turn to when that feeling becomes unbearable.
The tragedy of the fading star had been showcased before in the original A Star is Bornwith Judy Garland and it's remake in 1976 with Barbara Streisand. I haven't seen either of them, but are constantly said to be great movies. Perhaps I'll look at them at another point, but in the case of the current A Star is Born, this is another great story of the modern celebrity and his pressure to both keep a lasting career and help the girl of his dreams.
Country/blues singer Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper) sells out constantly with his popular concerts and good looks. He plays a mean guitar and has an "Americana" voice. He's hiding a drinking and drug problem, which helps him cope with the pressure of pleasing his fans and finding new inspiration. He has his fair share of people working for him, but the only one who tries to care for him personally is his older brother/manager Bobby (played by Sam Elliot). It's clear that while he does fine financially, he's still more alone then most normal people.
We also have a young woman Ally (played by Lady Gaga) who gets by as a waitress while singing in a drag bar. Though she seems to have friends, she is constantly told by her father Lorenzo (played by Andrew Dice Clay) to take it further. One day after a concert, Jackson stumbles into the drag bar, simply looking for place to drink. It’s here he sees Ally singing "La Vine en Rose" and is memorized by her beauty and voice. After meeting her backstage and a night of hanging out, she is flown to his next show where he brings her on stage to duet with him. As the two become an item, the world is drawn to Ally.
I'm going to stop there as A Star is Bornis not only a great look at the tragedies of celebrity, but is also one of the best movies of the year. It may be a remake, but this film is just full of honest chemistry by the two leads, along with some beautiful looking cinematography. I swear, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have to be one of the best onscreen couples in a while.
Screen chemistry is often hard to describe, but if showing how these two people need each other without explaining does the job, I don't know what does. I'll start with Lady Gaga who is not only a natural beauty (it was said that producers told her she would be too ugly for film), but convoys a lot of her side of acquire fame and learning how to deal with it. Bradley Cooper is her best friend going into this and he nicely shows a Kurt Cobain-like lifestyle in which you know he has a lot of demons and could take down a lot of people with him. He's just so likable and friendly with how he is with Lady Gaga that you really find yourself sympathetic for him.
While I don't know if I would go as far as calling this a musical, but A Star is Borndoes have a lot of good music. They all seem like songs I'd hear from Lady Gaga or a blues-like singer. I don't know if it's something I'd listen to all the time (it's not my thing), but the important thing is that it feels authentic. It's honest enough that I'm sure it's going to receive awards.
I'll give this five Grammys out of five. A Star is Bornis what you call a perfect remake of a great movie. It's beautifully shot, beautifully written, beautifully acted and beautifully performed. It's just a beautiful movie. But along with it, it's also an honest portrayal of being a celebrity and what happens when your not ready to either receive or lose the fame. The stars shine bright enough to recommend this for everyone.