Trying to fall in love with film again.

'A Star is Born' is true of not only the movie but of it's stars

A Star Is Born (2018) - IMDbStory 

Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), a famous country singer meets and falls in love with a young singer named Ally (Lady Gaga). He helps her find fame while dealing with his own pitfalls like his alcoholism.

Even though this is a remake, the story here has been updated so it's more original. The story here is also grounded and has an air of authenticity, the movie feels real and because of that, I paid more attention to it.

Acting 

Before I wrote this post I read up on the film and the actors put in a lot of work to get into their characters and that dedication shows, the acting in this movie was phenomenal. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's chemistry is electric. When the two of them are together they light up the screen and you only focus on them. You feel everything they feel joy, pain loss and love. This is one of those movies where you can't imagine anyone else playing those characters.

Lady Gaga has had a pretty much seamless transition into acting and in this movie, you can see why she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress. At no point does Ally feel like Lady Gaga playing a character. She feels real and I connected with her because of that. Her character grows throughout the movie and the more you watch, the more you fall in love with her performance.

Bradley Cooper has really grown as an actor and gives one of the best performances of his career. Jackson is a flawed character but that doesn't make him an unlikeable one, quite the opposite. He's charismatic, funny and at times heartbreaking. He's more jaded and it's the perfect contrast to Ally who's more upbeat and optimistic.

The supporting cast is also excellent especially Sam Elliot as Bobby Maine, Jackson's brother and manager. His and Bradley Cooper's relationship feels real. The two characters are sometimes at odds with one another but they feel like brothers. The other actors may not have as much screen time as the leads but that's fine because you're meant to focus on the main characters but they help to expand the story and ground it.

Writing/Direction 

This is Bradley Cooper's directorial debut and he doesn't disappoint. As far as directorial debuts this was an amazing start. The writing and direction in this movie are solid. There's a sense of realism in every aspect of this film. The story may not be one that everyone can relate to but there's a message in this that appeals to everyone regardless of their life.

This film was written to tug at your heartstrings. I wouldn't call it an emotional roller coaster but it definitely makes you definitely feel. It makes you care about the characters who were written as real people, at no point do they feel fake or superficial.

This movie also has solid pacing, at no point did I have the urge to check my watch, you remain focused on the film which is engrossing. There's also a consistent tone, at no point does the movie move off track and become something else, which is a testament to Bradley Cooper's direction. He made sure that we're focused on the two main characters, their relationship and the story he wanted to tell, which are the most important things in the movie.

Set Design 

This one of the few times I didn't focus on the set design because there isn't much to focus on. The locations aren't the focal point of the movie.

One cool tidbit is the fact that Bradley Cooper filmed one of the concert scenes at Glastonbury festival and that lends itself to the realism of the film. This movie doesn't use a lot of different locations.

Score/Soundtrack 

The soundtrack in this film is amazing. I was very surprised by Bradley Cooper, I didn't know he could sing but his signing in this movie was solid. His duets with Lady Gaga are powerful especially Shallow, which you should listen to right now.

We all know Lady Gaga can sing (her 6 Grammys are a testament to that) but the songs in this movie are very different to the songs she's known for. The music here leans more towards her last album 'Joanne' and this movie shows that her voice is phenomenal. You get to hear the different layers to her voice and I lost count of how many times I got goosebumps listening to her sing.

The songs also have weight and they stick with you. I've listened to the soundtrack constantly since I walked out of the cinema. (I'm listening to I'll Never Love Again as I write this) The songs bring out the intended reaction and they're genuinely good songs.


What's also impressive is the fact that all the singing is live, something that's not always done and the movie is all the better for it. The live singing lends itself to the authenticity and intimacy of the film.

There's also no score in this movie, and that's because the soundtrack is such an important aspect of the film. It's like a character in its own right. The scenes without music tend to be the more dramatic scenes where you want to focus more on the character and what's going on around them rather than the music.

Overall Thoughts

I went into this movie aware of the hype and it made me slightly cautious because there's the possibility that it won't live up to the hype. Safe to say that it does. This movie is amazing and all the Oscar-buzz is well deserved. It's funny, emotional, dramatic and more than that, it's authentic. Even though stories like this one don't play out like this in real life you feel like it could happen. At the end of this movie, the lady sitting next to my friend was in tears and I don't blame her because I may or may not have felt teary-eyed.

I would highly recommend this movie and I would be very surprised of it wasn't nominated for a few Oscars next year.

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