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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tyler

Film Review: A Star is Born

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

In “A Star is Born” we see Jackson “Jack” Maine, an established rockstar played by Bradley Cooper, fall in love with the young talented musician Ally, played by Lady Gaga.

Bradley Cooper was in fact the director and the film has made over 135 million at the box office since it was released on Oct. 5, 2018.

The movie is actually a remake; however, I am evaluating it on an individualized basis since I have not seen the prior movies or musicals.

If you’re just curious if whether you should see this latest rendition or not, then yes, because it is entertaining and a trip to the movies is an overall fun experience.

If you do not wish to hear spoilers, I suggest you refrain from reading the rest of this review.

The overall plot follows the romance between Jack and Ally and how Ally transitions into a pop star. But the story also focuses on two main themes, Ally’s rise to fame and the effects of Jack’s alcoholism.

The first part of the movie covers Jack’s discovery of Ally after he enters a drag club and she is a special guest performer.

It is evident that the use of a drag bar correlated to Lady Gaga’s casting as she is a known activist and spokesperson for LGBQT+ rights.

The connection between the characters is portrayed beautifully through the looks they give each other and the way they gently touch. The acting between Lady Gaga and Cooper keeps up the momentum of the film. Jack’s addiction to alcohol is evident right from the start and causes embarrassment and harm to those around him.

If you like long romantic dramas, then this is a stellar movie for you. If you want some light quick entertainment, then this might be a film to avoid.

He eventually goes to rehab, but then commits suicide near the end of the film. Meanwhile, his then-wife, Ally, is connecting with managers and agents to start her own professional career by putting out albums and performing at gigs.

There are some great components and also some not-so-great parts. The vocal talent was outstanding. Lady Gaga in particular steals the show as Ally, and as a musical film this was a fantastic casting for this role. The performances made you feel as if you were up on stage singing yourself. This was created through perspective-style shots, but a complaint would be that these were dizzying. There were many close-up tightly framed shots that made it easy for an audience to connect to the characters, but it occurred too frequently, and I think the film would have benefitted from more wide-angle and establishing shots. The videography in the opening scene of Jack’s concert was disorientating and on one hand could be referring to the wild lifestyle or the drugged and drunken state of Jack himself, but it was just too much in focus and not enough out of focus to be done properly; honestly I had to look away so I would not get sick from watching the film on the big screen.

Clocking in at two hours and sixteen minutes, it is not a quick flick and I personally was ready for it to end near the end. It was also becoming increasingly sadder and the final part with Jackson Maine’s suicide and Ally’s grieving is drawn out significantly. It dwells just a little too long since the audience would be impacted significantly regardless of the time spent within the montage. It was a good movie to see, but I don’t think I would want to watch the film again.

I was also disappointed after hearing my peers speak so highly of the film and thought I would get a good cry out of it, which it I did not. It did not hit me as emotionally as I thought. It depends on what you’re interested in seeing whether you should view it or not.

If you like long romantic dramas, then this is a stellar movie for you. If you want some light quick entertainment, then this might be a film to avoid.

- Originally published by The Cord on October 17, 2018


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