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A Star is Born  (DVD)


Stars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos, Andrew Dice Clay

Director: Bradley Cooper

Although this is the fourth Hollywood remake of the story of a female performer who falls for a male star on the way down, it's been 42 years since the last (tedious) incarnation with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. This is a quite a bit better than that, even if the Judy Garland version of 1954 is never likely to be surpassed.

Gaga and Cooper do bear faint resemblances to their immediate predecessors - there's even a running gag about Gaga's nose - but the performances (Cooper's especially) show a good deal more passion.

He's superstar Jackson Maine, she's Ally, a part-time singer he comes across on a casual visit to a bar, where she sings La Vie en Rose - actually her best number in the whole film. Struck both by Ally and her powerful voice, Maine persuades her to sing on stage with him, and, in a way, both their fates are sealed.

Jackzon is into alcohol, steroid injections and drugs, plus he has tinnitus and other hearing problems. Even so, his descent from superstar singer adored by cheering millions, to backing guitarist for a Roy Orbison impressionist does seem rather precipitous as depicted here.

Cooper's hitherto singing talent is quite a revelation and he outshines his relative-newbie-to-film co-star, despite her impressively vibrant voice. Even though many of the lyrics can't be heard, the music still sounds great.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour by Company 3.
127 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 13 Feb 2019