A Star is Born follows a familiar pattern, but music and romance have reached high emotional notes | Movies | San Antonio


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Three-time Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) makes a rather convincing, if imperfect, directorial debut with A star is born, the third reimagining of the film since the original version hit the big screen over 80 years ago.

In this new reiteration, six-time Grammy-winning singer Lady Gaga is in the spotlight where actresses Janet Gaynor (1937 version), Judy Garland (1954 version) and Barbara Streisand (1976 version) once stood. Gaga plays Ally, a budding musician swept away by alcoholic rock star Jackson Maine (Cooper), who is instantly captivated by Ally’s talent when he sees her perform “La Vie en Rose” in a drag bar.

See Ally and Jackson court each other during the movie’s first act, when is it A star is born is at its most charming and romantic. It never quite reaches the level of anything like the 2007 Oscar-winning Irish drama Once, but Cooper and Gaga sell their relationship as a true romantic relationship, despite its seemingly rapid development.

The magic of cinema occurs when Jackson invites Ally on stage at one of his concerts to do a duet with him. It’s unrealistic to think that an original song could actually come together like this without a bit of rehearsal, but as Ally bravely takes the mic to sing the second verse of “Shallow” (a song co-written by Gaga, which will undoubtedly land a nod to the Oscar for Best Song), there’s no real reason to discuss the logic. The single is so good.

As soon as their relationship is established, however, the storyline begins to lose momentum and seems to find solace in falling into familiar territory. Again, A star is born has a long history of remakes, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that writers Eric Roth (The initiate), Will Fetters (The best of me) and Cooper, who is also credited as a writer, follow a conventional pattern. Darkening one star and rising another is a formula that has worked well in the past, but Cooper has only been somewhat successful in turning it into a truly fresh story.

During a scene in the final act, Jackson’s older brother Bobby (Sam Elliott) explains to Ally what Jackson’s musical philosophy is by describing music as “12 notes between any octave – 12 notes and the octave repeats “and adding that it is up to the artist to decide to say something meaningful enough within those parameters to move listeners. In A star is born, Cooper and Gaga have voices worth listening to, especially when they harmonize in front of a crowd of thousands. We just want the narrative mixed in with a few more sharps and flats to ensure a clearly distinct sound and experience.

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