The latest remake of “A Star is Born” directed by actor Bradley Cooper is one of the rare film experiences where there is no evident acting. Every actor in this movie comes across as real, as if whatever they are saying was never written down. This is a tribute to the great screenwriter Eric Roth who wrote the screenplay. As far a movie remakes one would be hard pressed to find any other movie that has been remade 5 times like this one has. The reason for this is the great story and the music – but 5 times is a rather hard to understand total.
The music and especially the lyrics during the musical segments in this film are all outstanding. There is no doubt that Lady Gaga can sing, but she is also a great songwriter as well and is perfect for this role, almost as if it was created just for her. I was also impressed with Bradley Cooper not only for this acting but also for directing his first movie – the last time I remember this happening was in 1980 when Robert Redford directed the great movie Ordinary People, that won for best picture and best director with Timothy Hutton winning for best supporting actor. Most of the other actors cast for this movie were a surprise including Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Elliott and even Dave Chappelle who has a small role in this movie. All of them were outstanding in their roles. I expect there will be several Oscar nominations for this film, including best director, best picture and best actress for Lady Gaga.
This is one of the only movies I can remember seeing that shows both the highs and lows of success in show business and specifically the music industry. The constant travel, the two hours of high during a performance and the many days of lonely traveling, hotels and as shown in this story drugs and alcohol that far too many turn to to escape this very difficult life. One need only think of Whitney Houston and the recent documentary “Whitney”, also reviewed in this blog as one of the best examples of how difficult a life in the spotlight can be.
The ratings for A Star is Born are a very high 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5 on IMDB and I agree with both of these ratings. A Star is Born gets my very strong recommendation.