“The truth is, a director wins an Oscar for a writer’s script and actors’ performances.”
A Star is Born: My Review
Straight up, it is a well-done movie. Anyone who drops in to see this film will enjoy the craftsmanship of directing and acting. I think that it will be popular, especially to the fans of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
I imagine that Lady Gaga will be nominated for an Oscar. The Academy rewards those who put themselves in a vulnerable place, like Charlize Theron in Monster or Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball. Lady Gaga put herself out there in this film.
This movie is loaded with “art speak”. There is much about “having something to say” when making art and I don’t really see what Bradley Cooper had to say in this film. As a remake, I see the story in a rock and roll world with little intention to take it any farther or deeper.
One does appreciate the commitment of the actors. In this I do see Mr. Cooper’s work as a director. I like to see that level of honesty on the screen. I like to see the actor’s on the talk shows expressing the need to “get at the truth” like I heard from Sam Elliot on the Stephan Colbert show. For the actors, I think that this was a meaningful experience for them.
If it is fair to compare remakes (it must be!) I’ll put all of my chips on the George Cukor/Judy Garland version. While it was Bradley Cooper’s first shot at direction, Mr. Cukor had a resume of sixty or more movies including Gaslight, The Philadelphia Story, Pat and Mike and so on. While it was Lady Gaga’s first shot at acting, Judy Garland was a legend on the screen. Yes, Lady Gaga is a very good songwriter, she would be measured against George and Ira Gershwin and Richard Rodgers. It just doesn’t seem fair does it?
The soundtrack for A Star is Born (1954) has never been out of print. It has been available for purchase, in some form, continually for 64 years. I know, it doesn’t seem fair to compare the movies but they are remakes.
That’s the deal here; A Star is Born is a remake and a well-known one. Like Oliver Twist or King Kong or Cinderella or Pride and Prejudice, movies that have been remade over and over, we know the story. The question is: do you have something new to bring to the tale?
I really did like this version. If I put on my critic hat, I think that the final choice made by the Bradley Cooper character was too easy and that he was led to it throughout the movie; from the fore-shadowing of the nooses on the billboard to his hearing loss to the end of his career to the manager dumping on him; the emotional choice was almost made for him rather than a monumental tragic decision. Still, I will say that we understood his decision and it was very clear and I appreciate that a lot.
In all; I wish that Bradley Cooper really did have something to say in the movie. The first was about Hollywood, the second was the same but a musical, the third set it in the rock and roll world and the fourth was again in the rock and roll world. Why do it? There was no commentary on the current times that I could see.
Back to the beginning, it is a good film. They did a good job with it. No rookie mistakes! Since it is a first for them, let us hope that they do another film.