A Star Is Born (2018)
As we're thrown into the great country/rock song "Black Eyes", co-written and performed by writer/director/producer Bradley Cooper, before going along into a drag bar where Cooper's drunk character is moved to tears by Lady Gaga's rendition of "La Vie En Rose", the opening of A Star Is Born feels immediate, raw and true – not at all like a remake of a remake of a remake. The two leads' romance is made believable through simple, humble writing and acting. Cooper has half a very good movie down before cluttering it up by becoming too self-centered and sentimental on behalf of his own character. The final third is an unbridled spectacle of self-pity. There's power and resonance in the movie's two main character relations (Gaga/Cooper and Cooper/Elliott). And Lady Gaga demonstrates that she can act almost on par with her singing. The problem with Ally isn't that Gaga cannot pull off the early dramatic segments, but rather that the character is a complete package, artistically speaking, from beginning to end. There's no need or room for development. Luckily the fine music works as a nice distraction. Sam Elliott steals the show as Cooper's older brother. And so does Andrew Dice Clay in his few scenes as Gaga's father.