Latest Review – A Star is Born [Warner Bros. Home Entertainment]


Director: Bradley Cooper

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, and Sam Elliott

UK Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Genre: Drama • Year: 2018 • Country: US • Running Time: 136 minutes (2:15:45) • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 • Image: Colour • Language: English • Rating: 15 • Region: Region B • Video: 1080p High Definition | MPEG-4 AVC • Audio: English Dolby Atmos | English DTS-HD Master Audio | English Descriptive Audio | German | Italian | Spanish/Castilian • Subtitles: Optional English SDH | German | Italian | Spanish/Castilian | Danish | Finnish | Greek | Norwegian | Swedish

Every generation seems to have its own version of the A Star Is Born story, and following Hollywood remakes in 1954 and 1976, and a Bollywood adaptation in 2013, this fourth incarnation of William A. Wellman’s 1937 Technicolor classic now transports the famous rags to riches tale to the 21st Century in what proves an incredibly assured directorial debut from co-star, co-writer and co-producer, Bradley Cooper.

Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a hard-drinking, drug-addicted country music star who stumbles into a drag bar after a show late one night in search of hard liquor and quickly becomes enamoured by an enigmatic nightclub singer following her ballsy performance of La Vie en Rose. The singer in question is Ally Maine (Lady Gaga), a shy, downhearted and self-conscious young singer-songwriter ready to give up on her dream of a professional music career.

Following a few intimate heart-to-hearts, the infatuated Maine soon begins coaxing Ally out into the spotlight, though as the new star’s career quickly begins to skyrocket, Jackson’s self-destructive behaviour spirals out of control, leading to significant break downs in their relationship and his own career. For all his love and support Jackson struggles to accept Ally’s meteoric rise as she is gradually transformed into a Gaga-esque pop star by her scheming new manager, but it is ultimately his loss of control over her that kickstarts his fall from grace

A Star Is Born presents a melodramatic tale that could feel overly sentimental and wholly implausible were it not in the hands of such a capable and sincere director, but Cooper navigates the various highs and lows with such a a skilful and genuine touch, crafting a hard-hitting, affecting and realistic portrait that draws out moments of real warmth and humour, highlights the poignancy of the situation, and delivers a devastating punch to the gut when required.

There is just so much to admire about A Star Is Born. From the exceptional leading performances of Cooper and Gaga – and the pitch-perfect chemistry between the pair – to the powerful supporting turns from the likes of Sam Elliott as Jackson’s older brother and tour-manager, Bobby, and Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s protective father, Lorenzo, the brilliant soundtrack, co-produced and co-written by Cooper and Gaga, its painful study of drug and alcohol abuse, the homages to previous adaptations, and the host of authentic perfomance sequences the film offers up, Cooper’s directorial debut is an emotional rollercoaster that captivates and rewards throughout.

Special Features: 

The Road to Stardom: Making A Star Is Born (30:02)

Jam Sessions and Rarities – Baby What You Want Me to Do (Jam Session) (2:22), Midnight Special (Jam Session) (2:41), Is That Alright by Lady Gaga (1:58)

Music Videos – Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (3:37), Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga (4:04), Look What I Found by Lady Gaga (3:18), I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga (4:54)

Musical Moments – Black Eyes (1:36), La Vie en Rose (2:53), Maybe It’s Time (1:23), Shallow (Dialogue) (2:09), Alibi (2:59), Shallow (3:34), Maybe It’s Time (1:20), Always Remember Us This Way (3:26), Why Did You Do That? (2:51), Oh, Pretty Woman (1:34), I’ll Never Love Again (4:42) (Total: 28:33)

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