Movie Review: There's Nothing 'Shallow' About 'A Star Is Born'

A perfect, emotional movie driven by spectacular original music

October 5, 2018
(L-R) BRADLEY COOPER as Jack and LADY GAGA as Ally in the drama "A STAR IS BORN," from Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Live Nation Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Warner Brothers, Neal Preston

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I'll be honest, it is very rare that I give a negative review for a movie. Its usually good, or just 'meh.'

But, in the case of one to two movies a year, there's usually a movie that strikes me just so. This year, A Star Is Born is the first movie to do that for me. Its not often that a film elicits emotion on quite the scale that this film did.

A Star Is Born, quite literally, hit all the right notes for me.

Directed by, written by, and starring Bradley Cooper as aging country-rock star Jackson Maine (think Eddie Vedder), the movie's all original soundtrack is music for the soul. There's not a bad track in the bunch, and each song either makes you want to tap your toes or gives you goosebumps.

Lady Gaga stars opposite Cooper as Ally, a talented young singer who's living paycheck-to-paycheck as an underappreciated server at a restaurant. Ally has been told she won't make in the industry because of her looks.

When the two happen to meet by fate one night, Jackson tells her, definitively, that she is a songwriter. Once he discovers, holy s**t she can sing too, sparks fly.

(L-R) BRADLEY COOPER as Jack and LADY GAGA as Ally in the drama "A STAR IS BORN," from Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Live Nation Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Warner Brothers, Neal Preston

The tale has become one as old as time. This is actually the third remake of a 1937 film of the same name. Judy Garland starred in the 1954 remake, and Barbra Steisand and Kris Kristofferson took on the leading roles in the 1976 version.

Ally and Jackson have an unbending bond, almost to a fault, but are headed in opposite directions. Her career goes up, his goes down. But they are there for each other through it all.

The on-screen chemistry between Gaga and Cooper is insane. You know how, in some movies, you might just think of the character and identify them as the actor within the plot? No way, not in A Star Is Born. Despite her grandiose real-world persona, I believed Gaga was just a nobody from New York who was full of nerves in front of a big crowd. I believed Cooper sold his role as Maine to a T.

He worked on become Jackson for years, as it would happen. And he never breaks character.

There are moments on screen between the two that are relatable, emotional, intimate, and straight-up chilling. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll tell your friends you know Ally and Jackson like they know each other.

A Star Is Born is chock full of original music, all written and composed specifically for the film. Hopefully you've already heard Shallow, but other songs you'll want to be playing on repeat are 'Black Eyes,' 'Always Remember Us This Way,' and 'I'll Never Love Again.'

Its almost hard to describe how much this movie affected me. You'll have to see it to know what I mean. Simultaneously making you think about your real-world relationships with the family and friends you hold most dear, and making you feel the love and pain Ally and Jack are going through.

The original songs are also so eloquent in perpetuating that message. In his directorial debut, Cooper struck a chord with A Star Is Born that not many films have achieved. For that, I, as a viewer, am thankful.

Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Elliott, and Dave Chappelle also star in this modern, updated re-imagining of the classic.

A Star Is Born is set for release on October 5. And if you don't get goosebumps or shed a tear during the final scene, check your pulse!

Ben At The Box Office rating: 5 out of 5 Buckets of popcorn