At first, it’s impossible not to be carried away by this kind of timeless and musical romance that Bradley Cooper signs as his first feature film!
We finally understand quite quickly why this love story between two lost souls who have dedicated their lives to music has this ability to cross the decades without having to suffer from the wear and tear of time. Although it is being told for the fourth time, its base seems frozen for eternity and its branches large enough to connect at any time, provided however that the filmmaker responsible for establishing this link has the talent and the vision to do it (this is indeed the case here, don’t worry). A Star Is Born movie is one of those rare romances which, on paper, would have everything to be considered outdated but which finds a way to leave the good feelings sometimes a bit naive on which it relies to move towards something that touches the universality of emotions while totally avoiding the pitfall of sentimentality, a real tour de force that Bradley Cooper achieves rather brilliantly.
A Star Is Born movie critic
The magnificent meeting of simplicity between Jackson Maine, famous alcoholic musician on the decline and Ally, an anonymous young singer brought to the spotlight, click instantly. He, through the misty eyes of Bradley Cooper (perfect in a myth eaten away by his demons), is simply bewitched by the performance of the soul mate put in his way by fate and she, a young woman with a golden voice but so complexed by her physique that she is convinced that he will close the doors of a potential career to her, falls under the spell of this man who looks at her like no other has probably done. For the role of the latter in A Star Is Born movie, Bradley Cooper did not choose to film Lady Gaga but the one behind the artifices of the entertainment world, the actress and singer Stefani Germanotta who, exposed, transmits an unsuspected fragility to this role and probably some of his innocent dreams from a not so distant past to deliver an exceptional performance.
This love at first sight, as much in love as it is artistic, therefore radiates over the entire first part of “A Star Is Born”, each concert sequence to which, a rare thing, Cooper gives a unique visual identity despite their repetition, makes their feelings explode a little more. growing on the screen with, of course, their song as a duet, the hit “Shallow”. But the storm of Ally’s sudden fame and the hold of alcohol on Jackson will soon hamper the strength of their relationship …
This will be the direction chosen by a second part, very uneven, which will strangely be much less fine than the first by losing itself in certain excesses.
Already, there is this somewhat vague discourse on the loss of Ally’s artistic personality in favor of a sterile star status in order to please the greatest number. Clearly denounced at first, the film seems to abandon this point as if, ultimately, it was a fatality that it is impossible to fight. This greatly impacts our attachment to the character of Ally, unable to maintain her integrity and it therefore becomes very hard to have the same compassionate look that we had on her at the beginning, we come to take sides with Bradley Cooper who drowns his guilt for having created a monster in an ocean of alcohol and we are not so sure that the goal was indeed that one.
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The latter will also become a caricature on legs to the point of doing anything, too much anything … In this sense, the Grammys sequence is the worst symptom, it was difficult to understand how Bradley Cooper (director, co-writer and actor) didn’t realize that the character’s credibility was going to take a serious hit in the wing by pushing the slider so far from excessive to border on the grotesque . It is besides the whole problem of this second part which loses in emotion and in subtlety what it gains in shortcuts and in excess.
Be careful, the alchemy between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga still illuminates the film and there are still some very nice moments to chew on but, like his final song which we expected a whirlwind of feelings but which reveals itself to be too banal, the magic so adored of the first part is not there any more.
The fact remains that, for a first work, Bradley Cooper has managed a very nice film both perfectly aware of the timeless side of his emotions and in touch with the hopes / disillusions specific to our time. Admittedly, A Star Is Born movie does not keep all its promises over time but its first part touched by grace and its two exceptional actors (do not forget Sam Elliott too) are worth the trip alone.