A Star Is Born – On and Off The Screen

A-Star-Is-Born-poster-2This movie has been advertised for a long time. There was a lot of rumors about Lady Gaga fans trolling Venom in an attempt to thwart the movie in the box office, as Venom and A Star is Born were released the same weekend. Those attempts, if real, were futile as Venom crushed A Star is Born the first weekend in the box office, $80k to $44k according to boxofficemojo.com.

A Star is Born had a reported budget of $36m, which it more than earned the first weekend. The following weekend, its gross dropped to only $28m, or a 33% dip. However, it did not see as dramatic a dip as Venom ($35m or a 56% dip). My wife and I went with some friends of ours last night to help contribute to A Star Is Born’s gross earnings.

Potential Spoilers Ahead

To give you some background, my wife and I have been very excited for this movie since the first preview dropped back however months ago it dropped. We’d talk about it all the time. We had high hopes, and given that it was Bradley Cooper who directed, we had high expectations.

For those that don’t know, this is the 3rd remake of the movie. The first was in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason. The second was in 1976 with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. And now this remake with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. The story is nothing unique or special. A boy, famous and nearing the end of his story, falls in love with a beautiful no-named girl and gives her a chance at stardom. As his career wanes, her career begins to skyrocket. Their relationship is strained by his alcoholism. The nice thing about this movie is that throughout all the struggles that Jack and Ally have during their relationship, there were never any issues with fidelity and domestic violence. Jack never abuses Ally, and neither cheat on each other.

A Star Is Born - JackIt is my opinion that Bradley Cooper is becoming one of the best Producers of our time. His directorial debut was also nothing short of awesome! He’s been studying with Clint Eastwood who Directed American Sniper, where he also Co-Produced the movie with Bradley Cooper. Eastwood’s Produced/Directed movies are arguably some of the best movies out. Cooper is the off-screen Star that Is Born from this movie. His acting fame is unquestionable, and it appears that his directing career will follow suit.

Where my wife and I disagree is how the movie was directed and produced. She didn’t care too much for it. Jack suffers from hearing loss that occurred when he was very young. The effects are irreversible. There are several times in the movie where there are very little sound and moments of just quiet space. The main focus of the movie, despite the title of the film, is Jack. The movie portrays his struggles with a declining career and how he handles issues from his childhood, and how he handles the increasing success and early career of his girlfriend turned wife. Given his hearing issues, and that the movie focuses on him, it’s no wonder that they put these times of silence and quiet in the movie. You’re able to connect more closely to Jack and his struggles.

The movie is not one that will leave you with a joyous feeling at the end. It will, however, leave you with good music that you’ll want to listen to on your drive home. In fact, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack while writing this review.

Concert playing

The entire cast, including the supporting role of Sam Elliott, was very well cast. There was not one performance that outshined another, and there wasn’t one that was underplayed. Yes, the movie is long, which was my wife’s primary complaint. It’s a long movie. However, it tells a story. It takes the words that Jack says in the movie, “having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag”, and implements them. Bradley Cooper had something that he wanted to say and did it in a way that people wanted to listen to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Rotten Tomatoes has their critic consensus “with appealing leads, deft direction, and an affecting love story, A Star Is Born is a remake done right – and a reminder that some stories can be just as effective in the retelling”. It received an Audience Score of 84% at the time this review was written.

This movie lived up to my expectations. I’ve been thinking about it since I watched it, and probably will continue to keep thinking about it for a few days. To me, that’s the true sign of a good movie. It reached me.

A Star Is Born gets 4 couch cushions and a throw pillow from me


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