The Horizon

A star Is born shines as a well-crafted, compelling remake

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga deliver Oscar-worthy performances

Bryce Shreve, Staff Reporter

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Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper”, “The Hangover”) makes his directorial debut in 2018’s “A Star is Born,” a modern iteration of the classic musical romance. It utilized a notably small budget of $36 million, and is predicted to do significantly well at the box office.

I was aware of the buzz surrounding this film, and my expectations were exceeded to say the least. As a side note, tissues are highly recommended.

Oscar season has begun, and “A Star is Born” is an early contender to take home some awards. It hits all the right notes as a remake — outstanding lead performances, compelling romance and excellent direction.

Cooper stars as Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga graces the big screen with her performance as Ally Campana. The film also stars Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Elliott and Dave Chappelle.

The film follows Jackson, a famous singer who meets Ally, a young artist struggling to find fame. Jackson and Ally quickly fall in love, but as Ally sees her career shooting upward, Jackson’s career takes a significant dive as he wrestles with alcohol addiction.

Superb Casting and Composition

Acting in “A Star Is Born” is phenomenal — Cooper delivers an absolutely gutting performance as a rock star facing a heartbreaking fall from grace. Gaga’s acting is the best of her career — her unmatched energy and chemistry with Cooper are a highlight of the film.

In addition to the outstanding lead performances, the supporting cast holds nothing back. Sam Elliott’s role as Jackson’s older brother is a compelling dynamic.

Andrew Dice Clay’s performance as Ally’s father gives her character some key development early in the movie. Dave Chappelle is Dave Chappelle — much-needed comic relief while still serving a purpose to the plot.

Authenticity of the Film

Music is a significant part of “A Star Is Born” and both Cooper and Gaga give it their all. With a history in the music industry, Gaga’s vocal performances are exceptional as always.

The big surprise was Cooper — his singing in the film is authentic, no Hollywood smoke-and-mirrors. His guitar playing is also 100 percent authentic, as Cooper took intense guitar lessons for about a year and a half to prepare for the role.

Additionally, Bradley Cooper cast his own dog, Charlie, in the film. Charlie gives an Oscar-worthy performance — or at least a Milk-Bone-worthy one.

Overall, a Delightful Use of Two Hours

Believe the hype surrounding this movie. The cinematography, pacing and framing are top-notch.

While some shots were cursed with slightly overexposed lighting and some stints of the script felt corny, those small issues don’t weigh it down. “A Star Is Born” is equal parts compelling, entertaining and heartbreaking.

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