Friday, October 5, 2018

A Star is Born - FINALLY!

Let me get this out of the way - I absolutely love this latest version of "A Star is Born."
There's no denying it - Lady Gaga is a star
Having seen all prior versions, as well as the inspirational "What Price Hollywood?", I consider this one film story that periodically begs a remake/update because none of the earlier films were perfectly realized. Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand were already well established movie stars when they took their turn at this story, so their depictions of the girl-thrust-into-the-spotlight were always a bridge that was a challenge to cross. James Mason's star power was crushed by Judy and Streisand rolled over Kris Kristofferson. Fredric March could go toe to toe with Gaynor, but she had the advantage of being the first Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester. Yet, Gaynor did not seem like a gal to set the film world on fire.  Judy is just a tad too mature and a too much of a raw nerve (it seemed she might be the one taking that last midnight swim), and Streisand, well, she had exploded as an enormous and instant star right out if the gate, one who clearly wouldn't need the help, much less encouragement of Kris Kristofferson to succeed. Barbra is her own cheering section always.

Ally and the 3 Esthers
Now there is Lady Gaga and, truly, while watching this often told story, we are witnessing the birth of a real star. Yes, we know her from her music and her outlandish costumes, but here we see the blossoming of a true movie star. She is everything that a believable Esther Blodgett (called Ally here) should be. Her talent is scary and her self-doubt touching. Her voice and passion for music brought me to tears. In a world of fakers, she is authentic.

So good together
Speaking of passion, the love of music that binds her and Bradley Cooper's Jackson Maine (a cooler name for a rock star than Norman) is the beating heart of the movie. Sam Elliott, as Cooper's older brother, states that music is only 12 notes and it is the artist's message and interpretation that makes it unique. That is the underlying theme of this "Star." Cooper and Lady Gaga make beautiful music separately, but together they are dynamic. Each makes the other better. Each gives the other something they need.


So, I love you lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. it has been a long time since a new film and a star have moved me to tears and, at the same time, created a tremendous excitement just watching them on the screen. I was getting a little worried there for a while, but they made me fall in love again with the movies.

4 comments:

The Lady Eve said...

I haven't seen this yet, but your takes on the earlier versions - in terms of the credibility of Gaynor, Garland and Streisand - are spot on and so I'll be going into the theater with your review in mind. Isn't it great to have a new movie to fall in love with?

Beyond that, I'm just glad you're back on the blog, Ms. Chick!

Julie S. Lantz said...

Thanks for your input. Can hardly wait to see - the promos alone make me cry, I can only imagine when I actually see the movie.

Caftan Woman said...

I'm curious but trepidatious. I stopped paying much attention to contemporary music once I left my teen years and when I occasionally try it to appease folks, I find myself disappointed and bored. Music is important to me and obviously important to this film, but we may not be on the same page and it will probably colour my enjoyment.

Silver Screenings said...

I was curious to see what you thought about this film. I have to admit I was kind of uncertain about it, given it has been done so many times before. However, you make good points about Gaynor, Garland and Streisand in the roles of the new star, and about Lady Gaga in this role.

The other day, a poor girl on Twitter was lamenting the story and how she thought it would have a happy ending. She felt truly ripped off by the story. But it's interesting to note she saw the film the day before and she was still so moved by it a day later.