A Star Is Born is a romantic drama film directed by Bradley Cooper, it is the third remake of the 1937 classic. The plot follows a hard-drinking self-destructive musician Jackson (Bradley Cooper), as he falls in love with a young singer called Ali (Lady Gaga). The film chronicles Ally’s rise as well as Jackson’s fall, with the love story acting as a means to show this.
Before I get into this review, I need to talk about the music. Music is a central focus of this film, and as such it is very important, with there being multiple songs scattered throughout. ‘Shallow’, is the big original song for the film and it is great, it is passionate and emotional, and you feel something every time you hear it, both Gaga and Cooper really nail the music. In many ways, both are incredibly believable as great musicians and that is the highest compliment I can give.
I have never seen any of the A Star Is Born film’s before this one so I was unfamiliar with the story, as such I can’t say to you how faithful of a remake this is, or if it is better or worse than the other versions.
Personally, I thought the film’s story was incredibly effective, I bought into the romance and genuinely warmed to the characters; which made Jackson’s self-destruction hurt all the more. This film has great emotional stakes, which is a result of the very, very believable chemistry between Gaga and Cooper, it is almost impossible to think they don’t actually love each other.
My one complaint about this film is that it is too long, and this is a problem that I believe ultimately ruins the film. If this film had really just focused on Ally and Jackson’s relationship and ignored everything else, all the needless B plots, all the musical drama, then it would be at least half an hour sorter and all the better for it. There are some many sub-plots and so many needless one note characters that the film feels so overstuffed that it loses focus of what makes it good, I don’t care about what Jackson’s brother is up to, or that he has an overly long drawn out backstory, I just want to see the two leads interact.
Overall, the music is what saves this film from being a very by the numbers rom-com. The two leads have great on-screen chemistry, but the lack of focus means that you get bogged down with other characters and barely get to see it.
The leads chemistry.
The emotional stakes.
All the side-characters and B-plots.
Far, far too long.