A Star Is Born is a deep look into fame and love

Clay Enos

Clay Enos

Brendan Sheardy, Staff Writer

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  A Star Is Born follows aspiring singer, Ally, as she rises to fame with the help of her newfound lover, famous country singer, Jackson Maine. Bradley Cooper writes, directs, and stars in this film alongside Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott.

  Cooper exceeds all expectations with his directorial debut. In what looked like a feel-good romance, turns out to be a multi-layered film that expertly deals with costs of fame and the struggles of alcoholism.

  It’s difficult to believe that this is Cooper’s debut as a director, because it feels like you’re watching a film by a veteran. The way he uses the camera to convey each character’s feelings is astounding. Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine is always trying to get out of the spotlight; he doesn’t want people coming up to him and he always hides from the camera. This is shown both through the dialogue and the camera-work. For the majority of the film, the camera is always following Jackson, and he’s constantly walking away from it. The combined movement of Jackson turning away and the camera following him shows the audience how the character feels about the public eye. This level of craftsmanship and care for details elevates the film into something greater than just a run of the mills romance.

  The film does hit a slow spot in the second act, however. The characters seemed to be at a neutral state and some moments were glossed over and cut away from too quickly. This film picked up quickly after that, though, with a very impactful scene that shows us a raw moment of a celebrity hitting rock bottom.

  The film says a lot about both relationships and becoming famous. The first half of the film is very light-hearted, whimsical, and colorful, as if these characters were living in a dream. The film is filled with such energy as their relationship and Ally’s career begin to take off and gain momentum. These characters are living in a dream, and Ally is beginning to experience the wonder and excitement of her dreams and her newfound love for Jackson. This is perfectly contrasted in the second half of the film, which slows down and becomes much deeper and more emotional as the reality of becoming famous and being married to an alcoholic begins to set in. The filmmakers conveyed these emotions perfectly, and it makes for an unforgettable experience.

  It almost goes without saying nowadays that Bradley Cooper puts on an incredible performance in this film, but this is Cooper on a whole different level. He disappears as Jackson Maine, and in my opinion, gives a career best performance. He gives the most realistic portrayal of an addict through his actions and dialogue. His singing ability will blow you away, too. If one wasn’t already familiar with Cooper’s work, they would think he was a real musician.

  However, the film’s real scene-stealer is Lady Gaga. Her performance is electrifying as Ally, and you can expect an Oscar nomination, and possibly a win for this film. Her scenes while performing and singing are all wonderful, but she shows her true acting ability in the much deeper and emotional scenes towards the end of the film.

  Gaga and Cooper have such great chemistry in this film, and it helps the viewers buy this relationship. The audience truly feels like they are watching a real married couple on the screen, and it was one of the many driving forces of the film.

  The music in this film is incredible, the songs Shallow, Maybe It’s Time, and I’ll Never Love Again are all instant classics and shoo-ins for best original song at the Oscars. These songs don’t just song good, though, they tell a story. The songs are another way to look into the minds of the characters and see how they are feeling in that moment, and why they wrote the lyrics they are singing; it was beautiful.

  A Star Is Born is one of my favorite films of this year so far, and I believe it is 2018’s Titanic. I expect a lot of nominations for directing, acting, and cinematography. Seek this film out as soon as you can.

  Rating: 9/10

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A Star Is Born is a deep look into fame and love