When the first reviews of A Star is Born started rolling out, they seemed too good to be true.
How could a film that’s already been made three times receive an eight-minute standing ovation during its film festival premiere?
How could the breakout star of The Hangover have directed a good movie?
Yet, somehow, the film lives up to the hype.
A Star is Born is fantastic, moving, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and uplifting all in one.
The film follows successful blues musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) as he discovers the incredibly talented Ally (Lady Gaga) singing in a drag bar one night after a show.
Like the previous versions of the film, alcoholic Jack takes rising star Ally under his wing and watches her become famous.
It’s a simple tale, but A Star is Born manages to imbue both characters with so much authenticity and emotion that it’s impossible not to be completely drawn in.
Cooper is exemplary as Jack.
He brings so many layers to a character that could easily be a one-note drunk.
Not only does Cooper star in the film, he also directed, co-wrote the screenplay, produced and (like Gaga) co-wrote many of the songs on the truly exceptional soundtrack.
The Academy has already proven they love the actor’s work – he has been nominated four times previously, for Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and American Sniper (for which he also received a producing nomination) – so it is a virtual guarantee that Cooper’s name will be read out when the Oscar hopefuls are announced next year.
Lady Gaga will also take many by surprise.
She has no trouble branching out from her musical roots and delivers a fabulous acting performance in A Star is Born.
But it is still her voice that absolutely steals the show.
Gaga has some serious pipes and – particularly in the ballads and the soundtrack’s lead single Shallow – her songs will stick with viewers for hours after they leave the cinema.
There are plenty of good reasons to go see A Star is Born, but the main one is simply that it is a great story told brilliantly.