Bradley Cooper makes an impressive directorial debut with the fourth iteration of the classic tale Hollywood is obsessed with, and while the plot starts to drag in the second act, Cooper manages to bring it all back together in a moving third act that sneaks up on you, grabs your soul, and hugs it.
The film starts with the deafening sound of a concert, the sound design making you feel both the excitement of being in a fully booked arena, and the pain of incredibly loud music. You will want to cover your ears at times, probably a way for the filmmakers to make you sympathize more with the lead character of Jackson Maine (Cooper, pulling double duty as director and co-lead) who – in addition to being a drunk and a drug addict – is also suffering from tinnitus.
A Star Is Born follows the same story as the previous versions, but it’s the 1976 movie with Barbra Streisand that’s closest to Cooper’s vision – with some major changes. This version of Maine may be drunk and popping pills 24/7, but he still is capable of selling out concert arenas and giving incredible performances. When Maine runs out of booze in his car, he enters a drag bar and meets Ally (Lady Gaga), a singer so good the drag queens allow her (a woman) to have her own show. As with every Hollywood love story involving a celebrity, Jackson instantly falls for Ally as she is seemingly the only woman on Earth that treats him for what he is – a drunk.
I really didn’t know anything about this movie. I heard a lot of people saying that they watched it over and over again. So, when my husband and I sat down to watch it I wasn’t sure what to expect. I watched and I even got emotional through it. It was so well played. I would definitely recommend that you watch it. You will love it.