Opening 4 Oct 2018
Writing credits: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, William A. Wellman, Robert Carson
Principal actors: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos
Ally (Lada Gaga) is a waitress who writes songs and sings in pubic when possible, always encouraged by her father and his friends. Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) is a successful rock guitarist who spends his time on the road performing, always supported by his brother with whom he has a mixed relationship. Naturally, Jack and Ally meet up, and, after persistent invitations and management from Jack, plus some silly comments about Ally’s overlarge nose (“I could have had a hit song if it weren’t for this nose.”), they appear on stage together. The title, A Star is Born, is already a spoiler, because it reveals the plot. Naturally, Ally becomes a star appearing on Saturday Night Live and winning a Grammy Award. While one star rises, another falls, namely Jack, who sinks into a fog of alcohol and drugs and the end of his own career, always wearing his Udo-Lindenberg hat, which has a kind of personality in its own right.
This is the fourth filming of the same story. The original A Star is Born was based on a screenplay by Dorothy Parker and appeared in 1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. This was followed by a repeat with Judy Garland and James Mason in 1954, and still another version of the same story with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in 1978. This fourth 2018 version is repetitive and long-drawn out; 135 minutes are definitely too long. The film’s main attraction is Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performing a wealth of songs, many of them their own original compositions. Go for the music. We know, without a doubt, that Lady Gaga is famous with her impressive career as a singer. The surprise is Bradley Cooper. Although already quite successful as an actor, this is Cooper’s first film as director, and also his first singing role, for which he took voice lessons for 18 months. (Becky Tan)