I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend the official press screening of the new Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga film “A Star is Born” in the Odeon at Point Square, prior to its general release to Irish cinemas on October 3rd. The film was directed by the man himself, Bradley Cooper, who I was already a huge fan of.
I was eager to see Gaga acting as opposed to performing on stage in her crazy costumes to the likes of ‘Bad Romance’ and was curious as to how she would do. However, I knew this wasn’t her first time behind the screen, as she played a role for one season in the hit TV show “American Horror Story”, but this was a big deal, it was her first big screen debut! Within a few minutes of watching her first couple of scenes, I knew that in fact, she was just as equally talented an actor as she is a singer.
The film is about Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, a famous musician and Gaga’s character Ally who is a struggling artist. He meets her by chance at a bar where she is performing and immediately becomes mesmerized by her and her potential. He brings her along with him on tour where she gets to perform in front of thousands of screaming and cheering Jackson Maine fans – much different to the little local bar she is used to performing in and it’s not long until the two begin a romantic relationship with each other. The film brings you along with them on their journey, both as a couple and individual artists, as Ally continues to further her music career. The film gives you an inside glimpse into their personal lives and the struggles and problems intertwined in their relationship. It doesn’t even do enough justice to the film to say that Gaga and Cooper were simply phenomenal and their chemistry was undeniable. The acting and the film itself felt so genuine and real, it was as if I was sitting down and watching a real-life documentary film about an actual singer, Jackson Maine and a struggling artist, Ally and their journey together.
The film touches on real problems such as alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as the tension that can occur in relationships when one person is doing something the other doesn’t agree with or understand. As Ally continues to grow her music career she also tries to save Jackson from his own personal problems.
It’s not just the entertaining story and incredible chemistry that makes this film so wonderful, it’s also the soundtrack, which is filled with original songs sung by both Gaga and Cooper – and if you’re wondering what Bradley Cooper’s singing voice is like, it’s beautiful! Who knew this man had so much to offer in the talent department? The beautiful duet “Shallow” has racked up millions of views on YouTube, with glowing, positive comments and feedback from people in the comment section. Just a subtle warning to you if you haven’t listened to it yet – don’t, unless you want it constantly stuck in your head, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it’s such a lovely song and both their voices work extremely well together. The full film soundtrack can be found on Spotify!
I already knew Bradley Cooper was an amazing actor, whether it’s in a comedy such as “The Hangover” trilogy, or in an action film playing a US Navy SEAL in “American Sniper”. This role impressed me more than I can say and I felt it was his most powerful performance to-date. You could really tell that he fully immersed himself in the character of Jackson Maine. He did an amazing job at portraying an immensely famous musician and brought the audience along with him in his struggles that occurred in his personal life which he tried to keep hidden from his fans. Lady Gaga on the other hand perfectly portrayed the feisty, sassy, strong-willed, struggling musician and I was just as equally impressed with her acting ability. So much so, that I hope to see her in more films in the future and hope this wasn’t just a ‘one-time thing’ for her.
If you get the opportunity to see this film, definitely go and watch it. I’ve already gone and watched it for a second time because I fell so in love with it the first time I just had to re-watch it, which hardly ever happens for me. This must tell you how impressed I was with this film. There are very few films which I would label a masterpiece, however, this is the perfect example of one and I definitely see an Oscar nomination on the horizon for this film and a Grammy for the soundtrack. A beautiful film for times when you want to both laugh and cry and a definite must see for all movie lovers, 10/10.
By Amy Higgins – Film Editor