“A Star Is Born” has about five different version out in the word. The latest telling is directed by Bradley Cooper, who also stars in it alongside Lady Gaga. No need to draw this out. It is powerful.
The live performances are well executed. Lady Gaga is quite phenomenal for her first big screen venture. Cooper is consistently a solid actor, however his first directorial effort was also very impressive.
I am not sure what the previous versions focused on, but the depictions of substance abuse and mental illness seemed mostly authentic. Of course, I am not around any celebrities on a regular basis, but I was pretty convinced that the potential hazards of fame on that level was pretty accurate.
Dave Chappelle appears in this movie and does fine, but his introduction felt a bit tacked on. He has some interesting moments with Cooper, but his character didn’t seem that germane to the story.
As crude as Andrew Dice Clay can be in his stand-up routines, I usually find myself liking his presence in films like this. He plays the father of Lady Gaga’s character and really put in a solid performance. He can be a surprisingly compelling actor given the right material, and it was good to see him in this.
This is not a film that leaves the viewer with much cheer, but there is a lot to appreciate here regardless. I also think Lady Gaga looks great without her usual stage appearance. I thought Bradley Cooper sounded great in his musical numbers as well. It was pretty ironic that roles were a bit reversed for the movie since Lady Gaga is the seasoned singer and songwriter in real life while Bradley Cooper would be the novice in that form of entertainment. I appreciate Lady Gaga’s insistence that the music would be performed live. She can look pretty strange at times, but her talent is something that is easily recognizable even to a mere member of the unwashed public such as me.
There were a couple of times I thought the story was a little rushed, but the film is a fairly long one anyway. The acclaim this version has gotten is pretty well deserved in my view.