A Star is Born is a musical masterpiece

Lady Gaga co-stars in Bradley Cooper’s electric directorial debut

Lady Gaga plays aspiring singer and performer, Ally.
Credit: 
Screenshot from YouTube

With the massive successes of Hamilton and La La Land, the past few years have ushered in a new era of widely-beloved musicals. A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga and first-time director Bradley Cooper, triumphantly added to this trend last week. 

The third remake of the 1937 original, Cooper’s adaptation breathes life into the 80-year-old story—a testament to its two main characters’ chemistry onscreen.

The film tells the somber tale of Jackson Maine, a country-rock music star who battles addiction and depression while in the public eye. A love story then unfolds between Jackson and aspiring singer, Ally, played by Lady Gaga.

Ally is introduced as she’s on the phone breaking up with her boyfriend, taking out the garbage, and humming the tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”—a subtle homage to Judy Garland, who starred in the film’s first remake in 1954. Although Ally is a regular working-class girl, we can tell from the first note she hums that she’s got talent.

Jackson first encounters Ally in a drag bar, a place he stumbles upon looking for a drink.

Ally—the only non-drag queen allowed to sing at the venue—comes out singing “La Vie En Rose” and Jackson is mesmerized. The scene draws inspiration from real life because Cooper asked Gaga to co-star in the film after seeing her sing the same song at a charity event.

Ally and Jackson’s instant chemistry tells viewers these two will fall in love, and the intense emotional attachment will absolutely destroy you.

Jackson asks Ally if she writes her own music. She responds she doesn’t sing her original work because everyone has told her she’s not pretty enough to launch a solo career.

Moments later, while sitting in a parking lot, she begins singing the first bars of “Shallow.” The original song quickly becomes the movie’s anthem and launches Ally’s career as an artist.

Jackson and Ally’s love for each other grows as they navigate the hard world of falling in love in the public eye and coping with Jackson’s addiction.

A Star is Born’s love story is one of the most powerful in recent cinema. It takes a deep dive into what someone will do for those they love and the sacrifices they make to ensure each other’s happiness.

Accompanying this film is a soundtrack covering almost every musical genre out there, and featuring original songs from both Cooper and Gaga. The songs have been dominating iTunes charts since their release, and I expect high praise for the two lead songwriters come award season.

This long-gestating remake has received massive press coverage since Cooper took on the project in 2011. Still, A Star is Born has lived up to the hype—and all the hard work and dedication Cooper put into his directorial debut comes through in visually stunning scenes and a breathtaking soundtrack.

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