A Star is Born – A Slow but Bright Star

Rating (3 out of 5)

A decent love story that is drags in places while people give soulful looks and lean heads together lovingly.  The movie delivers as expected, and neither overwhelms or underwhelms.

Plot: A young woman struggling through life, meets a music star at a bar where she performs.  As they become romantically involved he encourages her to perform and become a star while struggling with his own demons.

What I Liked:   I enjoyed facets of each of their stories.  You wanted to see Ally (Lady Gaga) succeed … you wanted Jack (Bradley Cooper) to recover and make new material.  To be an aging musician, who must regurgitate their material for an aging audience must be extremely difficult.  To lose a relevance, to move from limelight to the just the light, I can’t imagine how difficult that is.

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The briefly covered off on the “idol” maker side of music.  Ally learns dance moves, changes her hair color, all to make the top of the charts.  What is the sacrifice artists must make to have their music heard.  We only got a glimpse of that in the movie, but appreciate it being covered.

Ally’s friend Ramon (Anthony Ramos) was fun to watch when he was on screen.  He was the one that got Jack to listen and meet Ally.  Was a little sad that we didnt’ get to see more of him.  The same is true for Jack’s friend George (Dave Chappelle). George was a much smaller role, but would have been interested in more.

The performances by all were very good, but thought Lady Gaga did a great job of especially how expressive she was in closeups.  Also was surprised by Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s father.

What I Didn’t Like:  The pace of the movie was slow for the 2nd half of the film.  Their were times when I had to look at my watch to see how much longer we had.  The story was fine, but slowed down too often for the lovey dovey, when it should have explored more about the relationship.

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Let me explain about the relationship.  So the move starts well and Jack brings Ally out of her shell and she tours with him and sings on stage.  There was not explanation or exploration of why Jack doesn’t to introduce her to a music executive or get her a deal of her own.  The move failed to express why he wasn’t more supportive when someone approached her and she was excited by the potential.

I think the direction/story was confused if we are digging deep into their careers and lives as individual, or are we covering a love story.  This causes a bit of confusion for me because we seemed to examine Jack’s life a bit more in-depth than Ally’s, which could be the director Bradley Cooper wanted to emphasize himself.

So after Jack makes a fool of himself at the Grammy’s, Jack and Rez (Rafi Gavron), Ally’s manager, have a heart to heart conversation.  Rez claims that Ally’s career was almost destroyed because of Jack’s antics.  I found this to be unrealistic.  A good PR firm could have leverage the whole thing into massive earnings bonanza.  It was just lazy writing.

There were a few shots, where they closed into faces or parts of faces, that we are trying to prove we are artists than telling a story.  There were also a few times when we were using reflections and glares as well.   I found those shots to be a bit off putting.

Conclusion:  A well done slow paced love story that has been done 3 times prior to this.

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