TIFF18 Review “A Star is Born”

After winning over the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) , Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star is Born is the fourth version of Hollywood’s favourite  immersive concert film. In this soul-stirring, tear-jerking remake, Cooper brings Lady Gaga to co-star alongside as Ally, a talented singer discovered by alcoholic country star Jackson Maine (Cooper). Maine and Ally meet by chance at a bar, fall in love, and start co-writing together but Ally’s rising fame and Maine’s alcohol addiction threat to ruin everything.

Back in 2009, Gaga’s presence was known worldwide as she redefined pop music with chart topping singles.  We’ve seen other top musicians such as Mariah Carey, and Beyonce who’ve transitioned into the film industry, but haven’t quite succeeded. Being at the top of the music charts doesn’t always necessarily mean that it’s an easy progress to hollywood films . Having already established such a unique stage presence, Gaga proves herself as an incredible actress with a raw performance that doesn’t let her own star quality get in the way of her character in such an early stage of her acting career.

Behind the camera, Cooper’s directing and storytelling exposes the characters in ways that are unfamiliar to the audience . The complexity and vision that build upon the film is what makes this an instant front-runner for the Oscars Best Picture, and will likely earn Cooper a Best Director Nomination. On camera, Cooper’s struggle with sobriety and his heart-wrenching scene later in the film will literally bring you to tears (I’m pretty sure I cried at least five times during this movie).

Cooper’s ability to effortlessly combine music and film together in a way that produces such a meaningful and memorable experience for the audience is exactly what takes this film up to a perfect score. Shallow, released by Gaga earlier this week will probably be the song of the year, and perhaps nominated as Best Original Song.  Hearing Cooper and Gaga’s ballad and powerful lyrics like “In all the good times I find myself longin’ for change. And in the bad times, I fear myself” seamlessly drags you right into the force field leaving you emotional and vulnerable.  Another memorable track is “I’ll Never Love Again” ,  which proves the authenticity of these songs  as they were recorded live and at various music festivals such as Coachella.

I’ve probably listened to Shallow over a hundred times since it’s been released, and can’t wait for everyone to see this film . A Star is Born is among this years best films, and will leave you in tears.

Warner Bros releases A Star is Born on Friday, October 5, 2018

 

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