“Maybe its time to let the old ways die.”
Many moviegoers, myself included, have a knack for dismissing Hollywood remakes, but in the case of 2018’s A Star is Born, it may just exceed the greatness of it’s predecessors.
The movie, Cooper’s directorial debut, is the fourth version of the story to be made for the big screen with Lady Gaga following Janet Gaynor (1937), Judy Garland (1954) and Barbra Streisand (1976).
A Star Is Born premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018. The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper and Gaga’s performances, Cooper’s direction, the cinematography, and the music.
I haven’t seen the previous versions of the movie, so I had no clue what I was getting into. I wasn’t prepared for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga to emotionally wreck me, but they did.
A Star is Born follows a musician as he helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. And that downward spiral is intense.
For those apprehensive about the idea of rebooting this tale as old as time, think again.
As Time so appropriately points out, “But given how drastically women’s roles in society, and within their marriages, have changed in the past century, we should consider ourselves lucky that, every 20 or 30 or 40 years, a filmmaker comes around to reconsider the essence of A Star is Born.
While I haven’t seen the 1976 version with Streisand and Kristofferson, I did some research on the ill-received remake. By the end of the movie, from what I gathered, Streisand’s character becomes almost unlikable with how she treats Kristofferson’s character. But, Gaga’s character takes a different approach to the role. Her Ally is more patient, caring, supportive, but stern AF when it comes to Jackson’s well-being. She’s believable, and her compassion and forgiveness are traits we all can relate to when it comes to someone we love.
“What’s different from Ally than me is that when I wanted to become a singer, I hit the concrete running. I was dragging my piano from dive bar to dive bar to play music. I was calling people, faking being my own manager to get gigs. I really believed in myself that I could do this and that I wasn’t going to stop until I made it…The truth is, when we meet Ally, she’s given up on herself. And that’s very different from me. I just wasn’t overwhelmed by the odds. The truth is, if we were not sitting here today and I hadn’t sold as many records as I have, I’d still be in a bar somewhere playing the piano and singing. It’s just who I want to be.” Lady Gaga via LA Times
I wasn’t prepared to like this movie at all; the trailer rubbed off a little cheesy to me with Cooper’s deep-set voice, “I just want to look at you again.” But, I was wrong. Very wrong. Gaga’s vocals gave me goosebumps, and I can’t remember the last time a movie did that to me. I experienced such a wide array of emotions that by the time the credits rolled, I was a wreck. I implore you to put judgment aside and to see this one on the big screen!