REVIEWED BY KIIS ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, JOHN CALDWELL
Rarely does a movie hit everyone in the audience in the same way, bringing all manners of people to tears as though on cue.
A Star is Born does though, and it’s for this reason and many others that this film is a sure thing for the Oscars.
Unbeknownst to me, this film has been made before, not once but three times with the most recent 70’s version starring none other than Barbara Streisand. Although, without seeing these previous versions I am left with no doubt that this version would far supersede its predecessors and most movies made in the last 30 years.
Bradley Cooper stars in this masterpiece while also co-writing, co-producing and directing. I can’t decide if it was his directing or his acting that deserves the greater accolade, as both were stunning performances. It’s hard to believe that this was Cooper’s first major directing gig as the entire film is virtually flawless.
Many films have been made trying to replicate life on the road for a rockstar, but few really nail what it’s like, especially with the added challenge of seeing it from the viewpoint of a washed up rockstar. From my knowledge of this lifestyle, Cooper nailed it and had me truly believing I was watching a real washed up rockstar on tour. I literally forgot there was an award winning actor playing a role.
For the most part there isn’t anything remarkable or surprising about the script. Rockstar meets girl, loves her undiscovered voice and her for that matter, rockstar gives girl her big break and girl becomes bigger than rock star. It’s not so much the script that’s the magic here, it’s the way its been brought to life. Having said that, as the movie unfolds there is certainly some risks taken in where the story line goes, but they were necessary to really make this film stand in a league of its own.
As much as I want to gush about how perfect Cooper was in this film, it has to be said that the real star was the leading lady, Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga.
In her breakout big screen role Lady Gaga was nothing short of phenomenal.
I’ve actually never been a die hard fan of Gaga, but that all changed about 15 minutes into this incredible story. I recently learnt that she wanted to act before she became a singer and boy I can see why!
Gaga has such a natural talent when it comes to acting that just like Cooper, she took us on a journey and was so believable that I thought she was Ally, rather than one of the most well known singers of all time. Although it wasn’t just her acting that made this, it was her true vulnerability.
Gaga takes things to the next level striping herself back to bare essentials, truly embodying the character and showing us a side to her that we have never seen before. There are even nude scenes where she literally bares all, but they are so necessary and tasteful that you almost don’t notice.
Initially Beyonce was touted for this role, and I was sure that Queen B would have been a much better choice, but after watching Gaga, there is no doubt that she leaves Queen B for dead. The journey Cooper takes you on is uplifting and fun for the most part, but the roller coaster does come crashing down on the way through.
It’s a love story deeper and darker than most films dare to explore, yet fills your heart with joy on most occasions.
As for constructive feedback, there were some parts in the middle where it tended to drag out a bit, but the story needed to be explained so these parts are semi-justified.
I won’t say I’m a fan of the ending, but again it’s tough writing decisions that set this film apart and make it not just a chick flick, but a serious gut wrenching drama of unmatched quality. I highly recommend this film and strongly suggest taking a box of tissues.