At one point, towards the end of the film, we meet George (Dave Chappelle), for whom the audience is given little to no backstory, despite his role in a crucial scene. It's the same story told over and over again... Bradley Cooper's Jack Maine rolls over on cue. It feels as if this progression is so ingrained into our cultural conception of love that "A Star is Born" is basically a legend, or myth. Before the 2018 re-telling that featured Cooper and Lady Gaga, it was remade more than 40 years ago with the same title, and starred Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand. The most satisfying moments in the film are when Gaga is given the floor to fully express herself, to push through her own self-doubt and resiliently command a stage. That's who she was all along.
"I knew I was going to have to bring it out because Lady Gaga is the real deal so the rest of the movie would have to rise to her level", he said. And she hates the billboards because her nose is seen dwarfing the skyline.
While Jackson helps Ally face her fears of performing, he ignores facing his own fears and reality. She can break your heart recounting the adolescent trauma of being thrown into a rubbish bin by bullies but then intuitively steer clear of discussing her boyfriend of one year, Hollywood agent Christian Carino, realising that not everything is for public consumption.
Ally is pure and precious with nothing but love to give. He is her biggest dream, nothing even comes close.
It makes sense that this is the track being used to sell A Star Is Born; "Shallow" is the soundtrack's musical and emotional peak. This is due, in part, to Main's alcohol and drug addiction. Every time he messes up, he chose to make it up with her by doing something excessive and stupid and she, being so hopelessly in love, laps it right up. The cycle of their bad romance keeps turning and gaining rust until it finally can not bear to move any longer.
Gaga worked with Cooper in A STAR IS BORN, which is based on the eponymous 1937 film. He is the one struggling with the demons of his past that he can not ward away. As the crowd surges between them, Ally calls out Jackson's name frantically. When Ally is given a chance to put out an album, Jackson tells her to always tell the truth in her music.
Both lead actors have been thrusted in a situation where it is their first time (Cooper as singer, Gaga as actor). She's a truly gifted singer, and the film uses that to maximum effect (expect an Oscar nomination).
Kanye West & Lil Pump drop one to four with I Love It, and Australian up-and-comer Dean Lewis hops into the top five or the very first time with Be Alright.
A lot of important prejudice is touched upon in the film wherein Ally (Gaga), with a talent so fine, is not given an opportunity because of her looks. Kept down because of what people see, not hear, Gaga delivers a powerhouse performance that anchors the film. She also took acting classes in Lee Strasberg's method and was cast in student productions while attending an all-girls Catholic school.
While the movie is showing enough promise to warrant eager anticipation for Cooper's next directorial engagements, A Star Is Born is something that's easy to fall in love with but not all too deeply. The entire story seems to have happened in a matter of days and so things like the wedding, the descent into depression seemed more rushed.
In this iconic scene, Ally turns over, stretched long across the bar in a sigh, and sees Jack, well, seeing her. Do you continue loving him? It's okay if the story's not "new", as long as we offer the world a personal understanding of that story. In the myth, Pygmalion, a sculptor in search of a "real woman" unlike those that surround him, creates an ivory statue so lovely he falls madly in love with it, to the point that the gods take pity on him and make the statue a real person.