Five Reasons You’ll Love It - October 3, 2018

A Star Is Born: Five Reasons You'll Love It
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

A Star Is Born: Five Reasons You'll Love It

Having delivered Oscar-nominated performances in films such as American Sniper and Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper is now turning his hand to directing and for his feature-length debut A Star Is Born, which arrives in UK cinemas this week, Cooper puts a contemporary twist on a musical love story that enjoys its fourth outing on the big screen.

Starring alongside Lady Gaga, who steps into the considerable shoes of the role's previous leading ladies Judy Garland, Julie Andrews and Barbra Streisand, Cooper takes on the role of fading rock star Jackson Maine, a veteran of the big stages in America's heartlands whose heavy drinking and drug abuse threatens to put a premature end to his career – and quite possibly his life.

The chance of salvation and redemption arrives in the form of a chance encounter with cabaret singer Ally, quickly capturing Jackson's heart and inspiring him to channel his energy into ensuring she reaches her potential.

With the film making its arrival in cinemas on Wednesday (October 3rd), we caught a screening and rounded up five reasons why we think you'll love 2018's incarnation of A Star Is Born...

 


If you enjoy musicals but could do without the 'jazz hands', this is the movie for you...

Musicals come in many guises, from the gloriously retro romance of Damien Chazelle's La La Land to the type that build themselves around their big song-and-dance showstoppers, such as mega-hits The Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia! The approach here, however, is far more subtle, with the musical numbers woven into key moments in Gaga's singer-songwriter Ally's rise to stardom. The nature of the storyline helps enable this, of course, but the songs never feel wedged into the narrative and the result is that you really feel like you're along for the ride on Ally's journey to the top.

 

Lady Gaga is perfect for the lead role and really plays a blinder...

During the film's lengthy gestation period several high-profile vocalists were in the frame for the role of Ally, with Jennifer Lopez and then Beyonce both attached to the film at various points, but for all their talents - and with the benefit of hindsight - it really is difficult to see how either could have been such a perfect fit as Gaga has turned out to be. On the acting side of things, this is already a very impressive performance, pulling off a skilfully balanced delivery of Ally's self-doubt and steely determination, but it's during the musical numbers that Gaga is really in her element and she delivers some towering vocal performances from beginning to end.

 

This is an impressive directorial debut for Bradley Cooper...

There has already been some early awards chatter around A Star is Born and it's easy to see why, but whether or not that turns out to be premature Cooper deserves a lot of credit here. With a runtime of two hours and 15 minutes, this isn't a short film so make sure you stock up on the popcorn, but it's remarkably well paced and gets through a heck of a lot of story without feeling rushed. If it seemed like Cooper was taking a risk by choosing as his debut a story which has already been on the big screen several times already, he's made it all seem worthwhile by putting a modern spin on a classic tale and pulling it off with a bit of style.

 

Dave Chappelle puts in a very enjoyable cameo...

Before his return to the big screen in Spike Lee's 2015 film Chi-Raq, comedian Dave Chappelle hadn't been seen in a feature film since 2002, but he continues his cinematic comeback here as Noodles, a childhood friend of Bradley Cooper's fading rock star Jackson Maine. Along with Sam Elliott in the role of Jackson's older brother Bobby, Chapelle is one of the film's many excellent casting choices.

 

The musical numbers are every bit as good as the storytelling...

Both Cooper and Gaga are very impressive on the musical side of things and deliver some spine-tingling duets together, but the songs themselves are more than up to the task and the soundtrack seems very likely to become another instance in the recent trend of musicals making a run on the album charts.

 

A Star Is Born is out now in cinemas and available to pre-order here in hmv's online store. 

You can also purchase the soundtrack here in hmv's online store. 

A Star Is Born
A Star Is Born Bradley Cooper

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