Despite sporadic weaknesses, A Star is Born is without doubt, a euphoric and affecting cinematic masterpiece.
A Star is Born Synopsis
Jackson Maine is a successful country singer suffering from alcohol and substance abuse. One evening after a concert, he visits a drag bar for a drink and chances upon Ally, a part-time performer/songwriter. Impressed by Ally’s talents, Jackson invites her to his next performance and quickly, the duo falls deeply in love, with Ally’s remarkable capacity as a musician also finally recognised by the recording industry after performing on stage with Jackson. As Ally’s popularity soars, her relationship with Jackson becomes increasingly strained. Soon, she might have to make the painful choice between career and love.
What would you consider as the mark of true artistic accomplishment? It varies from person to person, naturally, but for me, one yardstick would be the ability to get a disinterested stranger to willingly sit through an entire performance. Not to get maudlin, but when an artist is able to entrance a stranger this way, a genuine transcendence of mental boundaries is achieved. Momentarily, a bridge is formed. What’s miraculous is that such bridges then usually become permanent. In many cases, lifelong fans are created.
This was what happened to me last evening with A Star is Born, though of course, I don’t yet know whether I would stay a fan. To be quite honest, I have little to nil interest in movies about stardom, or country rock, and at the risk of incurring the wrath of fans, I’ll confess I’ve never even sat through an entire Lady Gaga performance.
For this directorial debut thus to be able to captivate me for over two hours, at times almost bringing tears to my eyes, well, that really ought to give you a good idea of how masterful this movie is. To go into details, what connects is the quiet realism A Star is Born stands on. This is a straight-forward story of two imperfect individuals struggling with the darker side of their dreams and aspirations. One artfully told without dramatic embellishment or mawkish preaching, or contrived conveniences.
Needless to say, even if you really dislike the story, there are still the breath taking vocal performances to enjoy. I’m not exactly a true fan at the moment, but you can be sure I will be googling for Lady Gaga’s performances over the next few days. I am definitely also looking forward to the next musical performance by Bradley Cooper. Who ever knew dear Rocket Raccoon could sing like that?!
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