A Star Is Born

Director Bradley Cooper’s debut film sizzles just like the chemistry between him and Lady Gaga.

For a first film, this could be an instant classic.

Cooper plays Jackson Main (Jack) a country singer struggling with alcoholism and addiction to pills.

Lady Gaga plays Ally, who falls in love with the embattled singer.  Together, they find love and success on the stage and off as they fall in love and get married.

Ally is a waitress by day, drag queen by night at the dive bar she sings at, and where she and Jack meet.

The story is very simple:  the couple meet, hit it off, and fall in love.  Her career rises as his personal issues start to overtake all of her success and glory.  The ending is tragic, yet somehow fitting.  If they had gone the Disney route, it wouldn’t have had as much of an emotional impact as the movie did if it was happily ever after.

The first half of the movie focuses on the development of Jack and Ally’s relationship.  It’s not a typical music star/down on her luck waitress story, though it could’ve been.  She brings just as much to the relationship as he does emotionally, doesn’t bow down to his wishes or let him walk over her.  It would’ve been very easy for this movie to be that, but it’s not.  Instead, she’s very dominate, but loving, and it works for them, as he’s so used to everyone doing everything he says.  She brings him back down to earth.

It’s a fast paced, fast moving segment filled with Gaga and Cooper’s beautiful voices, doing duets and going on the road together.  She gets discovered by a major label however,  and that’s when things start to fall apart.  The second half of the movie deals with the result of her rise while he’s on the decline.

He struggles throughout the movie with alcohol and pills, but is generally able to control it until he isn’t.  The night of the Grammy’s he completely humiliates himself and has to go to rehab.  He reveals deeply troubling memories from his childhood, but seems to be getting better.

I’m not going to spoil the movie for those that haven’t seen the two previous films, but it’s an emotional roller coaster of a film.  I haven’t had so many different emotions in movie in a long time.  You’ll laugh, cry, and then sob as the film comes to its tragic conclusion, but you’ll be glad you showed up for the ride.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s chemistry absolutely sizzled from the moment he lays eyes on her, and when they sing together, be prepared for an religious experience.  I don’t know how Cooper managed to keep his singing ability under wraps for so long, but I’m glad he finally let the cat out of the bag, because his voice is gritty, sensual, and will blow your mind.  He’s not only able to hold his own against Gaga, but definitely steals the show from time to time.  When they sing together, its like nothing you’ve ever heard and never expected to be quite so perfect.

The film has the right amount of music video, on tour, fast paced life you’d expect in a musical, but with the emotional impact to make it not seem like a musical at the same time.  Everything feels authentic and organic.

Everyone’s performances, from Cooper and Gaga, to Sam Elliot and Dave Chappelle who are relatives of Jack’s.  This movie will be nominated for every award, I guarantee it.

For Bradley Cooper to be a first time director, you’d never know it.  Of course, it helps he’s been an actor for so long and has seen the process first hand, but this feel like it’ll only be the first in a long line of films directed by Bradley Cooper.  It’s early days, but going by this example, he could be the next great actor/director of our times.  I’m excited to see what’s next for Gaga’s career, now that she’s had several tv shows and a hit movie under her belt.  The sky’s the limit, just as it should be.

Have you seen the movie yet?  What did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments.