“A Star is Born”
RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2018
MPAA RATING: R (for language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and substance abuse)

“A Star is Born” has been made into a motion picture no fewer than four times. The original was released in 1937, and subsequent remakes occurred in 1954 and 1976. With the 2018 version, they’ve saved the best for last.

Despite the familiar plot of a troubled musician who falls in love with and helps an up-and-coming singer/songwriter to find her place in the spotlight, this film is full of surprises; primarily the acting talents of Lady Gaga, whose gift of song is well-known, but whose acting performance as Ally in this film is worthy of Oscar consideration. She fills each frame with a sense of reality, allowing the audience to see past Lady Gaga and to journey with Ally throughout her character arc.

Ditto that of Bradley Cooper who, in addition to his remarkable acting performance as Jackson Maine, directed, co-wrote, and co-produced this compelling film. His portrayal of the often-inebriated musician is powerful and raw. Cooper puts himself out there without ever losing control of the performance.

“A Star is Born” is filled with wonderful, original music, and many of the songs were co-written by the lead actors. Cooper has an impressive singing voice, and his duets with Lady Gaga are moving. More than one song from this soundtrack will undoubtedly earn Oscar and Grammy nominations.

There are also terrific, solid supporting performances provided by Sam Elliott, Andrew Clay, and Dave Chappelle.

Indeed, all the stars shine brightly in “A Star is Born.” It is an excellent film that has launched awards competition in earnest.

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