October 05, 2018

A Star is Born is in theaters on October 5th, 2018.

A Star is Born is a catchy song stuck in your head. On its fourth remake and with great music, it seems almost impossible to escape it. Yet the fourth rendition resonates deeply to the core and will leave its audience replaying it over again in their minds long after they've left the theater.

In his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper portrays Jackson Maine, a rock superstar with a nasty drinking habit. After a big show, he stumbles into drag night at a local bar, where he hears a local woman Ally (Lady Gaga) belting out "La Vie en Rose". Her voice, and her performance captivate the rockstar and at that point, their fates are all but sealed. The two quickly fall for each other, and Jackson asks Ally to join him on stage. As they begin to tour together, Ally becomes an overnight sensation while Jackson's own fame slowly dwindles.

After three other renditions, with leading ladies like Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand, the question going into the film was, "why another remake?" By the end of the film, it's obvious. A Star is Born is a compelling masterpiece. Surrounded by fame and fortune, it remains grounded as an intimate portrait of the struggles of two lovers.

For a drama, it felt effortless and easy. The chemistry the two stars bring to the screen is palpable and made me feel like I was falling in love all over again. The happiness and the heartbreak were real, brought to life by phenomenal performances. Its struggles are grounded and relateable, and although they aren't necissarily original or inventive, the portrayals make the film a real winner.

A Star is Born cruelly boards you on a rollercoaster as it makes you fall in love, experience the dips and trials of a relationship, and then ends by dropping you off the ride and tearing out your heart. Its a magical experience and is completely unafraid of taking you on the journey. It's possibily one of the most exhilarating, emotional rides cinema has ever put me through. And only because its performances are truly that remarkable.

The role of Ally is tailor-made for Gaga, who absolutely nails the role. Anyone who doubted Gaga's musical talent hasn't been paying attention, and A Star is Born is among one of the best cinematic musical experiences. What could have been a standalone album becomes a star of its own and takes center stage.

Between the music, the chemistry, and the performances, A Star is Born is a compelling masterpiece. It succeeds because it keeps things grounded and intimate, and excels both as a musical and a drama. Despite following in the footsteps of other greats, Cooper & Gaga's rendition more than stands on its own and deserves the award show attention it is bound to receive.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
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