This is the fourth version of a film we’ve seen two remakes of (now three), the last one renowned for starring Barbra Streisand. (And it’s worth saying I’ve not seen any of the others, so I’m coming at everything fresh).
So what especially strikes me, is how accomplished A Star Is Born feels as Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut. Yes, the pacing drags at various points within the third act, but otherwise you might assume this was made by a veteran. Additionally, he plays the lead (and why wouldn’t he!), Jackson Maine, a well-established musician/singer with a serious addiction problem. one day meeting Ally (Lady Gaga, fantastic), a singer/songwriter in a bar, and soon they hit it off and work on each other’s careers.
This all plays very naturally, everyone talking as such too, down to the “uhms” and “aahs” that usually crop up in conversation. And crucially, as Jackson’s drug use increases, and he deteriorates, we feel a more immediate impact.
Oscar season has already well begun. I wouldn’t be surprised at all for this to be nominated in a number of categories.