Movie Review: “A Star is Born”


Director and actor Bradley Cooper appears alongside Lady Gaga in “A Star is Born” (via Wikimedia Commons).

Starring celebrities Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born is a new movie that was released on October 5th, 2018. Directed by Bradley Cooper himself, the film is based on the 1937 movie sporting the same title. The movie features an aging musician, Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), who is plagued by substance abuse and addiction. He takes an up-and-coming young artist named Ally (Lady Gaga) under his wing. They fall in love and hastily get married, adding to the mounting, unspoken tension of Ally’s early success in music. While her career soars, Jackson finds himself without gigs and an increased dependency on alcohol and drugs. As their relationship is constantly tested, their love for each other never fades. However, this results in tragedy which ultimately tears the lovers apart forever.

Critics have raved about the production: Owen Gleiberman from Variety says it is “A total emotional knockout, but it’s also a movie that gets you to believe, at every step, in the complicated rapture of the story it’s telling.” Some, however, found the duration of the film to be quite lengthy. In his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper produced a film which lasts 2 hours and 14 minutes. Although emotionally enthralling, the movie often felt as if it was dragging its feet through minor details. The lengthiness of the film often distracted the audience from the plot, reducing its emotional value. A shorter movie could have had greater success in conveying the suffering that Ally and Jackson endured: They both sought success and ultimately competed against each other.

The film features many clips of concerts and behind-the-scene activities, many of which are not usually shown to the public. Showing these backstage scenes allowed the audience to connect what they see on TV with the behind-the-scene reality that the movie was trying to explore. The audience is also able to connect to the story by the realism it portrays, sometimes from explicit content.

Revealing the secrets of the music industry and the pain that many celebrities often suffer, A Star is Born shows many truths and misconceptions that come with fame, and Bradley Cooper helps bring it to life in this film.


Sources: A Star is Born Movie, Variety, IMDb