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Film Review: “A Star is Born”

After watching A Star is Born in theatres, I completely understand why this flick has already made 200 million dollars in box office sales. Although some of the allure of the movie for older audiences might have been the nostalgia of the original movie, not having seen the first version did not impact my experience as a viewer and may have been beneficial since the shocking ending was just that - shocking. Thinking about it now, maybe knowing the ending might have better emotionally prepared me though because I think I might have used an entire box worth of tissues from wiping my tears. That is a warning to all you sympathetic movie watchers - beware and come ready with ammunition to fight the inevitable water works.

For those of you who are unaware of the plot of the movie, famous singer Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, discovers a talented singer/songwriter when visiting a bar after one of his shows. Jackson sees both the potential and beauty in Ally that others before him had missed. Romance ensues, but is sadly interfered with by Jackson’s alcoholism which serves as an obstacle in both their relationship and Ally’s career.

Beyond the unexpectedly impressive acting by the illusive Lady Gaga, the soundtrack was equally powerful - not counting the purposefully awful song meant to showcase the protagonist Ally’s progression as an artist; however, even that song was masterful in its use of satire. It was a nice contrast to the second Mamma Mia movie that came out this year, which upon seeing in theatres I immediately regretted spending money on.

What I particularly liked about the movie was its rawness and authenticity. Firstly, Ally’s attributes differ from typical ones that are over-used in entertainment media. Examples of this would be her appearance, as although she is gorgeous, Lady Gaga’s elegance and beauty are unique from those you see in a lot of movies, which are not accurate representations of reality. Secondly, one of the scenes where I specifically felt the movie came across as authentic was the one in the hotel room after the show with Jackson and Ally; the absence of music during the scene also created an authentic atmosphere because generally in real life -- correct me if I am wrong -- music does not randomly start playing at moments of intimacy. In the same scene, when Ally went to go freshen up, she did not just splash a bit of water in her face, but gave a more accurate depiction of what that really means, which I thought was a fantastic choice and added to the layer of authenticity to A Star is Born. These small details gave a sprinkle of reality to a fairly unrealistic plot, creating a balance between romanticism and authenticity made this movie exceptional in my mind.

All in all, I would recommend this movie to anyone who is appreciative of well acted and well directed films, meaning anyone with good taste. I also encourage everyone to brace themselves for the intense emotional turbulence that this movie brings.

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