Directed by Bradley Cooper
Actor Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”, “American Hustle”) makes his directorial debut with “A Star is Born”, a 21st-century remake of the 1937 classic of the same name directed by William A. Wellman. He co-stars alongside pop star Lady Gaga in her first theatrical appearance. With a score composed by Gaga and Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson, Cooper attempts to successfully combine the power of music with the sharp cinematography of Matthew Libatique (Darren Aronofsky’s first choice), as well as the fluctuations of romance with the complications of personal/professional life.
Cooper is Jackson Maine, an alcoholic country-rock star who finds in nightclub-singer Ally (Gaga) a reliable partner in music and life, giving her the opportunity to make the leap to international fame and become a celebrity. However, his alcoholism doesn’t make things easy for her, becoming worse after she gets her first musical contract. From this point on, their relationship becomes arduous as Ally steps up toward stardom whereas Jackson keeps declining.
This romantic if tragic musical drama achieves its climax when Ally is publicly embarrassed by Jackson’s behavior at the Grammy awards.
Gaga’s last song brings some emotion, which could never compensate for the absence of it during the rest of the film. Her performance was solid enough, while Cooper’s bloodshot eyes and general look are natural from a heavy drinker. However, the film didn’t touch me in the heart, presenting more inept than satisfactory moments, both drama and music-wise.