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A Star Is Born

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A star is bornOver the course of A Star Is Born, two new stars take form. The first is a remarkable actress called Lady Gaga, whose musical skills have long been acknowledged but now proves herself an actor of great range, sympathy and relatability. In the titular role, Gaga’s Ally is a talented if initially under-achieving singer and song writer, denied her chance at the big time because of her appearance. When music sensation Jack (Bradley Cooper) discovers Ally and facilitates her musical career, Ally’s explosion onto the music scene echoes that of Gaga onto the big screen, her luminous eyes speaking volumes equal to her extraordinary voice. The second star is director Bradley Cooper, who has clearly learned from the maestros he worked with previously such as David O. Russell and Clint Eastwood. Cooper’s assured and confident direction takes the viewer into the dizzying attention and gnawing isolation of super stardom, as long takes follow Jack and Ally on and off stage, into cars, hotel rooms and houses. These shots carry the viewer with the subjects of the film, the intimacy of the cinematography keeping everyone else at a distance, allowing the viewer to share the lonely adulation of our heroes. Cooper also takes care with his depiction of domesticity, including embarrassments and addiction, recriminations and reconciliations that plague both the stars and the bodies in their orbit. Veering from the triumphant to the devastating with all the verve of a vibrant guitar solo, A Star Is Born combines a heart-breaking love story with powerful music that does not so much tug at the heart as batter it bloody. Of the stars born in this cinematic firmament, some shine brightly while others burn out harshly, treating the viewer to a rich and at times tragic experience of life, love and music.

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5 Comments

  1. […] in one of the most emotional yet carefully contained films of the year. Speaking of heartbreak, A Star is Born was an equally uplifting and devastating tale of music and romance, demonstrating that Lady Gaga is […]

  2. […] nominees for Original Song, especially the eventual winner of this award, ‘Shallow’ (from A Star Is Born) performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry appeared in […]

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