By: Sophie Weyn
I think it’s evident that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born is a favorite film of mine, since the soundtrack is my most recently shuffled album on Spotify. Ever since I saw the movie about two weeks ago, I can’t get enough of it. Between Lady Gaga’s angelic voice and Bradley Cooper’s outstanding acting, I believe that the movie is a fantastic portrayal of love, heartbreak, struggle, disease, and courage.
For me, the film has personal significance, too. My mother and father’s most favorite film is A Star Is Born; they spent the first few years of their married life watching each remake over and over. The 1930s version, 1950s version, 1980s version, and 2018 version all strike my parents as remakes of a fabulous story. It is a piece of them and now it is a piece of me as well because I share the same affection for the movie as they do. I can only hope to now watch the other versions of the movie after seeing the most recent, and fall in love with them, too!
When Rotten Tomatoes reviewed the movie, they stated: “With appealing leads, deft direction, and an affecting love story, A Star Is Born is a remake done right — and a reminder that some stories can be just as effective in the retelling.” I agree with this statement entirely. I think the remake could not have been better, for it maintains the essence of the love story between two characters but also dives into so much more than just the love. It also clearly adds its own “21st century spin” on things, keeping the audience intrigued while effectively keeping the flame of an old story alive.
As said by a UK online magazine called “Independent”: “It doesn’t add anything we haven’t already seen in the Janet Gaynor (1937), Judy Garland (1954) or Barbra Streisand (1976) versions. Worse, Cooper fails to harness Lady Gaga’s greatest quality as a performer, namely her flamboyance and outrageousness.” I strongly disagree with the stance this publisher takes. For one, Lady Gaga’s best qualities are represented in the film. Recently, the star has been working hard to remake her name and stray away from the glamorous, outrageous, over-the-top reputation she built nearly 10 years ago, when she did things like enter the MTV Music Video Awards in 2010 draped head to toe in a dress made of uncooked meat. She has worked to become more real, natural, and close with her fans, her music, and her life. I think the movie portrays this raw side of her that we haven’t seen before in any major motion picture. I also cannot speak for whether or not the most recent remake was redundant, but I will know once I take the time to watch the old versions for myself, and I imagine I’ll enjoy each of them. I recommend this movie to anyone interested in soulful music and wonderful films!