Film Review: A Star Is Born

ICM Film
7.8

ICM Rating

6.9

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A Star Is Born happens to be one of those films that has been made and then remade several times throughout history, this just so happens to be the most recent adaptation. Over the years A Star Is Born has featured a wealth of talent, some of the biggest names in showbiz. I mean heck at one stage the 1976 version was set to star the king himself- Elvis Presley. But due to his agent making demands that just could not be met, we ended up instead with the pairing of Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

The 2018 version of A Star Is Born brings us a pairing that does at first seem rather questionable, I mean can we really be sold on Bradley Cooper as a rockstar? I’d heard so many reviews say that Cooper completely disappears into his character and even then I still wasn’t convinced until I actually had the chance to see it with my own eyes. Just a few minutes into the film and it happened, the penny dropped. I sat there in astonishment thinking to myself “Wow, this is actually good”. Cooper’s trying to sell that he’s a rockstar while Lady Gaga is trying to sell that she’s something of a rising star. To my surprise once the film is over both of them have achieved this in spectacular fashion.

Now in case you’re not familiar with the film’s narrative it’s basically a depiction of the rise and fall of stardom. We have a musician who ends up helping a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. Originally Clint Eastwood was pinned to direct this which just seems like a strange choice to me, the closest he’s ever come to putting out a film like this was 2014’s Jersey Boys and that wasn’t exactly well received. Thankfully Bradley Cooper took over with this being his directional debut and really something of a passion project in all honesty.

After seeing A Star Is Born it got me thinking about Cooper’s career within the film industry and just how far he’s come, it really is quite admirable. The first time I recall seeing him was of course in The Hangover trilogy, since then he’s proven he can be both funny and serious as an actor. He’s found a place for himself in the Marvel cinematic universe which nowadays seems like a must for any actor or actress wanting to really put their name on the map. But A Star Is Born has to be without question the most ambitious venture in his career thus far and what’s even more impressive is that it actually pays off. It’s a directorial triumph, a terrific performance and as if that’s not enough he also co-wrote the script and some of the film’s original songs. It’ll certainly be interesting to see just what he does next…

Unfortunately I’m unable to say just how this compares to the other versions as I haven’t seen them, but I thought this was a brilliant film considerably better than what I was expecting.

 

Good

  • Subverts expectation
  • Well executed

Bad

  • The pacing drags in places after a strong start
  • The way the story is told could use some fine tuning

Summary

Unfortunately I’m unable to say just how this compares to the other versions as I haven’t seen them, but I thought this was a brilliant film considerably better than what I was expecting.
7.8

ICM Rating