by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff
In the fourth rendition of the film A Star is Born, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper showcase their talent through both their acting and musical performances. Cooper has also been well received in his directorial debut. The film recounts a love story based on the musical careers of Ally Campana (Gaga) and Jackson Maine (Cooper) that ends in despair.
Gaga and Cooper are now the fourth pair to star in a rendition of A Star is Born. The first version came out in 1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, the next in 1954, featuring Judy Garland and James Mason, and the third in 1976, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
The basic storyline in each version follows a touring musician who falls in love with an unknown female singer. As he helps her reach stardom, his own problems with addiction and fame overtake him. Each version encapsulates this plotline while reflecting the time period in which it was produced.
One aspect of this fourth film that sets it apart from others, according to Vanity Fair and the film’s producer Bill Gerber, is the fact that, “It’s her pop turn that starts the rift between them, not her success.”
This difference aside, the current adaptation was as well received as the past ones, both in regards to the film itself and the music. According to Vanity Fair, the 1954 film was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Music, Original Song for “The Man that Got Away.” The 1976 version received four Oscar nominations, winning Best Original Song for “Evergreen.” The film’s musical success has continued into 2018.
A Star is Born has received strong reviews from critics so far with an average critic rating of an 8.1 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. Manohla Dargis, a critic for the New York Times, states that the film “wrings tears from its romance and thrills from a steadfast belief in old-fashioned, big-feeling cinema.”
Not only has the film been popular among critics, but among fans as well. It has an 84 percent audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Deadline reports that the movie has grossed $101.4 million within the first 12 days since its release.
The success of this film cannot solely be attributed to the acting, but also to the music. The musical talent of Gaga and Cooper enhances the authenticity of the film and adds to its success. Their song “Shallow” is currently number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and according to Vanity Fair it is also “currently the film’s front-runner for a best-original-song Oscar.”
Although some moviegoers might find it boring for filmmakers to consistently retell the same stories, A Star is Born is an exception due to its depth of character, heartfelt music, and impressive directing.