DVD Review: A Star is Born is a triumph.
“A Star is Born” stars four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga, in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper helms the drama, marking his directorial debut.
In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer… until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
The cast of “A Star is Born” also includes Andrew Dice Clay, with Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott.
In addition to playing Ally, Gaga, who earned her Oscar nod for the song “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground,” performs original songs in the film, which she wrote with Cooper and a handful of artists, including Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell and Mark Ronson. All the music is original and was recorded live.
Our Verdict: For all the attention and glitz that Gaga brings, “A Star is Born” couldn’t be a more different vehicle for her to showcase her acting talents and it’s that stark contrast that really allows her to shine. This is not a blockbuster, this is a slow burn, melancholy drama which unfolds into a tragic tale about the downside of fame. Underpinned with a masterpiece of a soundtrack, it will pull you in and tear at the heart from the very beginning. The viewer will no doubt draw assumed parallels with Gaga’s own career, as Ally is told she “has the voice but not the looks” and is transformed by her manager into a plastic incarnation of herself. Cooper is terrific as Jackson, giving an understated performance that brings real authenticity and emotion.