On Wednesday 3rd October, A Star is Born arrives in ODEON cinemas.
Already riding high on a wave of glowing reviews and early awards buzz, this raw emotional drama about the highs and lows of life on and off stage could be a major Oscars contender.
If you haven't already watched the trailer, get ready for some goosebumps that will last long beyond a second, third and fourth viewing - trailer song 'Shallow' will be with you even longer...
Then get the inside scoop on this Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga-starring musical gem, with five reasons why it could win big.
1. The story is so nice they’ve already made it thrice!
Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, A Star is Born tells the story of a country and western singer in the twilight of his career who helps a young artist find her voice. But as her star soars, his continues to fade…
It’s a cracking premise as we’re sure you’ll agree, which probably explains why they’ve already made it three times. A Star Is Born first hit the silver screen in 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March taking centre stage, followed by a Judy Garland and James Mason remake in 1954. A second remake burst onto screens in 1976, this time with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson hitting the high notes.
With three well-received versions already out there, a fourth take was always going to be a risk, but first-time director Bradley Cooper (see 3) has created a musical drama to treasure. Much to his relief as much as anyone else’s it would seem.
“I just knew this could be the end of everything if it [didn’t] work,” Cooper told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s like, ‘Who’s this guy making the fourth [version] of this movie? Shut up already.’ But I still could not deny what I felt deep down.”
2. Lady Gaga is incredible
Although she’s acted before (in the likes of TV’s American Horror Story), A Star is Born is singer-songwriter Lady Gaga’s first leading role and she’s absolutely sensational. Gone is the flamboyant make-up, outrageous clothing (the meat suit anyone?) and confident personality she’s famed for, and in their place a shy, natural-faced young woman suffering from long-held insecurities and a serious case of stage-fright.
As young singer Ally, Gaga not only holds her own against screen veterans such as Cooper and Sam Elliott, she steals every scene she’s in. The Best Song Oscar is almost certainly in the bag (see 4), but could she win Best Actress too? Don’t bet against it!
3. Bradley Cooper is a man of many talents
Not only does Bradley Cooper act and sing in A Star is Born, he’s behind the camera too – making his directing debut. It’s quite the triple act, and he carries each element off with confidence and in style.
We always knew he was a brilliant actor, of course – his three Academy Award nominations are testament to that – but his singing (especially when you consider he’s playing opposite Lady Gaga) really is a revelation; his throaty vocals will send shivers down your spine. As for his choices as director, they’re pretty much perfect, generously allowing Gaga’s star to soar.
4. The songs are showstoppers
A musical is only as good as its songs, and with Lady Gaga in the cast, A Star is Born was always onto a winner. The six-time Grammy award victor provides several original tracks for the film including the goosebump-inducing Shallow; the scene where Jackson invites Ally onto the stage to sing this with him is arguably the film’s most triumphant moment.
Other contributors include Cooper himself, and acclaimed British musician Mark Ronson (producer of Amy Winehouse’s seminal album Back to Black). The Greatest Showman, currently the best-selling album of 2018 so far, better watch its back.
5. The early reviews have been fantastic!
On 31 August 2018, A Star Is Born premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival (one of the most prestigious in the world). Could it really live up to the advanced hype? Good golly, yes. Of the 66 reviews currently on Rotten Tomatoes, 63 are positive – overwhelmingly so – with critics praising the acting, chemistry and songs, as well as Cooper’s astute direction.
Los Angeles Times described it as “remarkable”, while New York Magazine saluted its “gut-level romanticism”. Time Out heralded its “passion” and “staggering amount of chutzpah”, while Variety declared it “that thing we always yearn for but so rarely get to see: a transcendent Hollywood movie”.