'A Star Is Born' review. In cinemas now!

Jackson (Bradley Cooper) and Ally (Lady Gaga). Photo credit: Warner Bros.

'A Star Is Born' is a modern take on a classic Hollywood story. Cooper's directorial debut features the controversial and supremely talented singer Lady Gaga, who poured her heart and soul into her role.

Ally (Lady Gaga) is a very talented yet very insecure woman, who feels like she missed out on her opportunity to become a famous singer. She makes her living by waitressing in a large restaurant and singing at the drag club at nights. And there she meets Jackson (Bradley Cooper), a disobedient rock star battling his addictions. The musician is blown away by Ally's version of 'La Vie En Rose' and invites her for drinks. The couple forms a romantic relationship, beautiful and strong but very complex.

Bradley Cooper gives a performance of his lifetime. He is so charming and tender as Jackson that you just want the best for him, you want him to work his problems out. I always believed that one of the easiest ways to recognise if somebody is a good actor or not is to see them play a drunk person. Jackson is drunk throughout the vast majority of the film, so playing this character was definitely a challenge. Luckily Bradley Cooper is unbelievably convincing as Jackson. Plus, he, as a director, builds the story behind the musician's addiction and gives it the very needed depth, so Jackson isn't a boring guy with a bottle of wine in his hand who staggers from scene to scene. I like his image in the movie, it is very coherent. With the way he moves and looks, he minds me of the late Rysiek Riedel, the frontman of a polish blues band 'Dzem'. Cooper's performance is magnificent. His deep, Sam Elliott-like voice is a pure treat. And speaking of Sam Elliott, he deserves an ovation for his portrayal of Jackson's half-brother, Bobby.

The problem with the musicians starring in movies is that often they are just themselves, wearing their character's name, whereas Gaga was Ally, not Lady Gaga in 'A Star Is Born'. 
She proved that even without her bold image and heavy costumes (which I love, anyway) she is just fantastic. Her acting is great, her voice is powerful, but it doesn't feel like she is trying to show-off. She is natural, she is different, she is raw and believable.
I always knew that Lady Gaga had some extra artistic potential, hidden in her soul and I am grateful that Cooper dug it out and let her shine like a diamond in the film. 

A magnificent duo- Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.  Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper is out of this world, so organic and natural. They look and sound fantastic together. I especially love the freshness and innocence of the beginning stage of their relationship, the scene at the drag club and the way Jackson looks at Ally. What makes the movie remarkable, is that it wasn't an on-screen Cooper vs. Gaga duel. The two artists joined their forces, sensitivities and energies and created something very special.

The cinematography and sound design of 'A Star Is Born' are fantastic. The gig scenes are magnificent and the majority of songs are real hits. I am sure that either 'Shallow' or 'I'll Never Love Again' will be competing for an Oscar, and if any of these songs receive it- it will be well-deserved. 

I think that Bradley Cooper elevated this classic story to a different level, he put so much thought, research and work to it that he not only delivered a phenomenal performance, but also a fantastically crafted, loaded with emotions film. It takes a lot of courage to start a directing career off a remake, but could Cooper dream of creating a better-received film?

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