A “Director” Is Born

Julianna Kasper, Staff Writer

Imagine being at your favorite artist’s concert. The lights are dark, the music is growing louder and louder, and that pit of butterflies in your stomach turns to pure adrenaline when that one person, whether it be a singer, guitarist, or drummer, steps on the stage and hits that first highly anticipated note. That is what it felt like in the movie theatre watching Bradley Cooper’s film, A Star is Born, with the aroma of buttery popcorn and cherry Coke filling your nostrils.

No one will argue, not even me, that Lady Gaga gives an extraordinary performance in this film. As a loyal fan of the music of the “Fame Monster” for years, going into seeing this movie I already knew I was going to love it. Making her debut as a leading actress, her emotion, dialogue and musical voice truly show her smooth transition from a sensational pop idol to a skilled actress. And yes, I do think she will snab a nomination for the Oscar of an Actress in a Leading Role. Will she win that highly coveted accolade? That I am not too sure. Playing the role of a timid working woman turned music sensation beautifully, it is still early in the Academy Award radar season. And, we must not forget about the performance of her co-star, who is both the director and lead actor of this movie musical, Bradley Cooper.

Many words come to mind when one thinks of Bradley Cooper. From his comedic role of a husband and teacher looking to let his wild side out in the Hangover franchise, to a man with bipolar disorder trying to piece himself back together in the Silver Linings Playbook, with the latter earning him an Oscar nomination, Cooper has truly come a long way. This was especially proven in A Star is Born, with his heart-wrenching portrayal of a long-time country music star named Jack Maine, who is struggling with both alcoholism and the loss of his hearing. When his life gets dark, he finds his light in Ally, a woman with an outstanding voice and an open heart. Cooper thoroughly puts his heart and soul into this role, which is seen in his newly learned skill of guitar playing, singing, and being able to speak in a western accent a tone lower than his usual voice. His raw emotion and what is predicted to be award-winning dialogue will earn him many accolades, that I am sure of. But that is not all, as this film is also his directorial debut. And what a debut it was. Everything from the screenplay, which Cooper also took part in creating, to the character development and love story is perfectly imperfect. It shows the complexity of love, life and learning, while also highlighting the captivating relationship and chemistry between Jack and Ally, or Cooper and Gaga.

So, would I recommend A Star is Born? If you could not already tell from my emotional opinion, the answer is yes. Everything about it, whether it be the total original score, including the exhilarating song “Shallow” and the heart wrenching “I Will Never Love Again,” to the effective camera angles and foreshadowing components, proves it to be the movie the world needed right now. If you have a night off, go see it, and trust me, you will not regret it. It will leave you humming to the guitar strums of Cooper, and singing to the exceptional vocals of Gaga. It will prove to you that we all have a piece of Jackson Maine inside of us, and are all fighting our personal internal demons. And at its conclusion, you will experience two things: one, a prolonged silence looming over every single movie goer, including yourself, and two, inevitable tears, either from sadness, joy, or both.