Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are terrific in this 4th version of A Star Is Born.
Cooper , who directs and also co-wrote the film, stars as Jackson Maine, a boozy, popular rock n roller. He’s got long straggly hair, a beard and a raspy, lazy voice that he wraps around a song and delivers just what his fans want to hear.
As soon as he gets off the stage for the night, he slinks into the back seat of his car, swigs from whatever bottle he has stashed until its empty and instructs his driver to find a bar that’s still open. He finds an out-of-the-way drag bar and sits down for a drink. A couple minutes go by, and a female singer appears on stage. As soon as she starts singing, he puts down his glass and can’t take his eyes off of her.
Ally (Lady Gaga) struts on top of the bar singing La Vie en Rose. She’s got taped-on pencil eyebrows, a dark wig and a slinky gown, and boy, can she sell a song.
He follows her into the dressing room and asks her to go somewhere to have a drink. She sends him out so she can change, and after taking off her make-up and costume, she emerges as a fresh-faced, brown haired, pretty girl.
They spend the night talking about music, her song-writing and their backgrounds. After the sun comes up, he drops her off at the home she shares with her father (Andrew Dice Clay).
The next day, Jackson sends his driver and a plane to take Ally to his next gig. He surprises her by calling her up onto the stage to sing the song that she had written. Jackson sings along with her and the audience loves it. Jackson has re-discovered an excitement that he had lost in his performances, and with Ally by his side, he’s happy.
Their love story is emotional and rings true. It doesn’t however, always run smoothly. Jackson continues his hard drinking, passing out some nights and having to be helped into bed by his brother and road manager (Sam Elliott). Also, Ally, whose singing talent is discovered by producers and managers alike, is approached by a producer (Rafi Gavron) who promises to make her a star. Jackson’s own actions opened up this opportunity for Ally by showcasing her singing. But, you feel that perhaps he didn’t think through all of the consequences, Would he become jealous of her, would he be on the road again by himself, and what would happen to their relationship?
The film has great songs, a heartfelt love story, exciting concert sequences and some pretty great acting. It’s an impressive debut for Gag and. Cooper has transformed himself into a very believable boozy rocker. Together, they’re a knockout.