How many times can a movie be re-made yet tell the same story that fits the era that it’s in? Apparently 4 times, since this is the fourth installment of this movie. Hard to believe that a movie has been remade 4 times, right? So, when it comes to this movie, everyone has his/her favorite version. For me it was the Barbara Streisand version. Deciding to open up to a remake, which I rarely do, I decided to give this movie a chance and go see it in the movie theater. Was this movie worthy of another remake? Keep reading to find out.
A Star is Born tells the classic story of an aging and failing musician Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper. He used to be something and now he’s just an alcoholic, pill popping, used to be who is spiraling out of control. That is until he meets Ally, played by Lady Gaga. She’s a nobody and has been told by many people that she’ll never amount to anything because she doesn’t have, “the look.” Jackson sees the talent in Ally and decides to take a chance on her. Things begin to look up for both Jackson and Ally as they soon fall in love. Once Ally breaks out on her own though, Jackson’s career begins to fall apart again meaning he begins to fall apart again, but Ally stays by him sacrificing her own career to do so. This isn’t enough though in this bittersweet love story about the price of fame and fortune.
While I wasn’t captivated by this movie, I wasn’t bored by it either. This is a good thing as it basically tells the Barbara Streisand version of this movie again in a newer time frame and with a different more sadder ending that also speaks about more modern issues. Of course there were changes within the movie that made sense and there were some times that remained the same. Even some of the lines used in the Streisand version were used again in this version. I don’t know if that was to pay some kind of homage to the Streisand version, but it just felt a little off. Without all of that though, I thought the music used throughout the movie was brilliant. The music plays a big part of these movies and the one thing I thought this movie did absolutely right was the music. It made sense in each part and the songs were meaningful and had a purpose. Other than that, this movie was basically just another remake in a sea of remakes that come out every so many years. There wasn’t anything particularly special about this one as it relied too heavily on the Streisand version instead of making this remake it’s own movie.
I want to say that Bradley Cooper does an amazing job of playing Jackson Maine, but his character resembles and tries to recreate Kris Kristofferson’s John Norman Howard too much. If he’s trying to impersonate Kris Kristofferson then he did an amazing job, but he really didn’t own the Jackson Maine character. The performance for me just felt flat, although I will say that I did enjoy the music and give a huge kudos to Bradley Cooper for taking the time to learn to sing and take on this role and making the music his own. Now onto Lady Gaga. I’m very glad that she did not try to impersonate Barbara Streisand because that would have been an absolute disaster, but instead she plays her own character. While saying that, it really doesn’t feel like she’s playing a character. It feels too much like she’s playing herself and this is her story to tell and she’s in a way Ally. While this wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad either. I thought that she owned the role of Ally more than Bradley Cooper did with Jackson. Other than that, the supporting cast deserves some kudos as well because they did an amazing job of holding this movie up and making it not a complete train wreck of a movie.
Overall I give this movie a 3 out of 5.
If you’re familiar with the 1976 version of this movie, you’ll feel right at home with this movie as all it does it change up the ending and the time frame but basically keeps everything else the same. The soundtrack to this movie is amazing and will have you listening to it over and over again and the supporting cast keeps this movie going. The main acting on the other hand is something that could have been worked on. Lady Gaga is no Barbara Streisand, but she doesn’t try to be which is a good thing. It just feels like she’s playing herself and not, “Ally.” Bradley Cooper on the other hand tries too much to be like Kris Kristofferson and it really doesn’t work for him. I would say that if you’re a fan of this movie, especially the 1976 version, you might want to see this movie, but don’t expect too much of a change. If you’ve never seen this movie before, I would suggest seeing this one and then seeing the 1976 version. I will say though that this movie is not for everyone, but if you’re a fan of drama’s and musicals then this is the movie for you. If not, skip this one altogether as it’s really not anything to write home about.