Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

A Star Is Born

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A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

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Cast

Bradley Cooper – Jackson Maine

Lady Gaga – Ally Maine

Sam Elliott – Bobby Maine

Dave Chappelle – George Stone

Andrew Dice Clay – Lorenzo Campana

Anthony Ramos – Ramon

'A Star is Born' premiere, 75th Venice International Film Festival, Italy - 31 Aug 2018

Good Gaga

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga) proves a fantastic actress during A Star Is Born. I wasn’t sure what she would be like, how convincing she would be. But I cannot fault her portrayal of Ally at all. The movie opens with her belting out a rendition of La Vie En Rose whilst making the most of her performance space by wriggling all over a bar. Classic Gaga – weird. But I was intrigued to see if she’d tone this down and tone up the acting.

She did do without fail.

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The most noteable feature of her dramatics is probably how tense she makes it. There is yelling, crying and a hell of a lot of suffering. The character experiences emotional turmoil as well as glory, so it’s a very mixed bag the viewer looks in to. But at the same time it’s rather depressing stuff. Such painful scenes are played out by Cooper and Gaga, various perils of modern relationships are explored in a bold manner. So the viewer is in for a bleak time regardless of how good the leading lady’s level of acting is.

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A STAR IS BORN

Bad Gaga

This isn’t a bad film overall. It’s nice to witness Ally’s joy as she is discovered and works her way up the music ladder. But at the same time it is packed with misery; as mentioned above there is a lot of emotional suffering involved. If I had to sum it up in a single sentence I would probably say, “a loud and depressing novel of a movie”. My reasoning for this is that there is more fighting and domestic abuse than there is musical success. At least 70% of A Star Is Born is screaming and slapping as the two characters go at each other like cat and dog. It was almost like an episode of bloody Jerry Springer; one moment Jackson dotes on Ally and embraces her newfound career with all the love and support of a faithful married man. The next he’s screaming in her face as she struggles violently to fend the bastard off. It really isn’t a joyful picture at all, but then are the producers remaining true to how real life is?

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A Star Is Born is a very powerful drama, built from nothing but raw and honest emotion. I just cannot fault Cooper; the man gives an incredibly convincing performance as Jackson – so dramatic it’s almost like watching a documentary. He must’ve been exhausted after filming. Gaga is equally as effective and nails her character superbly, bringing herself away from the pop weirdo we’ve seen previously and becoming an actress in her own right. Brilliant stuff.

Fans of live music should have a wail of a time watching this as it contains so much musical entertainment it’ll probably feel as though you’re actually at a concert during some scenes. A Star Is Born may be very dreary at points, but musically it is just superb.

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2018 by .
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