Confession: I have yet to see any of the other versions of A Star Is Born.
I have zero reference, so please accept this review as a testament of appreciation as opposed to a review of a film with history and references that I may have missed.
It took every ounce of self-control that I have to not listen to the soundtrack of this film before watching it. I mean Lady Gaga at the forefront of any musical adventure will guarantee that the music will be phenomenal but I was determined to experience the music through the film first. This was the absolute best decision I have made in the past week. Each song perfectly fits into the film and though each song is able to stand-alone, they each help move the storyline along in a perfect way.
A Star Is Born follows Ally and Jackson Maine as they fall in love and continue their complicated relationship. Jackson Maine is a seasoned musician who becomes mesmerized with Ally, the moment he lays eyes on her and he helps her singing career by bringing her on stage (and subsequently on tour) with him. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga exude chemistry and passion from the moment they both appear on the screen together and though they’re portraying a fictional story I couldn’t help but feel like I was eavesdropping on a couple’s intimate moments. I won’t spoil the movie, because it definitely deserves to be experienced first-hand so l’ll attempt to express my love without giving anything away.
The music is an entire character in this film; they have created songs with lyrics that perfectly fit into the storyline while they blended music genres to tell a cohesive story. I highly recommend that you listen to the soundtrack in order because it’s what really makes the listening experience special.
So when I’m all choked up and I can’t find the words
Every time we say goodbye baby it hurts
When the sun goes down
And the band won’t play
I’ll always remember us this way
The way that the music sound evolves throughout the film, is a story all on its own and Bradley Cooper really holds his own singing alongside Lady Gaga. I find myself listening to the music over and over again while feeling like my heart is jumping out of my chest, much like my heart leapt out of my chest multiple times while watching this magnificent film.
Though this was his directorial debut, Bradley’s directorial eye feels seasoned and rooted in experience. The camera caught the smallest of moments and it’s where the magic came through. I felt my eyes glancing at every corner of the screen, afraid to miss a moment. This film is … magic.
In terms of the acting, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have the kind of chemistry that feels like you’re invading their privacy when you watch them on screen. Bradley Cooper created a complicated yet loveable character in Jackson Maine. I found myself angry with him, while feeling the need to hug him all at the same time. The subtleties with which Bradley gives life to a character really made all of the difference and it took less than ten minutes into the film to find the heart and soul within this chaotic and self-sabotaging character.
A star was truly born with this film. Lady Gaga has historically impacted the music world, there is no question about that; but we should be able to all confidently agree that she has kicked off, what will sure be, her long-running acting career with this film. The thing about Lady Gaga is that her heart takes the lead in all of the art that she creates. She crafted Ally out of heartbreak, passion and strength, she left it all on that screen and she leaves the audience with a heart that aches in the best possible way. I spent the entirety of the film completely captivated by her.
Together Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have created a masterpiece, I say this while tears continue to roll down my face … seriously I can’t stop listening to this music and breaking down. This film is about existing with addiction, it’s about the responsibilities that come with fame, it’s about love, it’s about surviving and dealing with your past, it’s about losing someone, it’s about finding yourself after you lose someone and it’s about all of the magical moments in between. A Star Is Born shows us two broken people attempting to fully love each other despite the self-doubt constantly playing in their head and maybe that’s what makes me so emotional.
I am a human who has always believed that she’s a little bit broken and I often doubt that I’ll find someone to love me despite it all (don’t worry, I’m going to therapy for that). This film found the love within the catastrophe and with a little help from music, it carried a beautiful and magical story. This is the kind of love I want to believe in. This is the kind of film I want to watch over and over again. This is the kind of magic I want in the world.
This film is completely worth the hype it is getting and I urge you to get out and witness it in the big screen.