Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut (he also co-writes script and music) is a remake of a remake and follows the story of a country rock star Jack (Cooper) on his way down who meets a talented singer/songwriter Ali (Gaga) on her way up.
Jack is a star who is dealing with his career and personal life fading. Battling alcohol and drugs while his hearing is also deteriorating. After a show, he is dropped off by his driver to a random bar in search of a drink. Said bar is a drag bar where a nervous Ali is about to perform an incredible version of a La Vie en Rose. Jack is mesmerised by Ali and stays on to meet her backstage. After spending the rest of the evening together, they realise there is a deep connection between them. What follows is a realistic love story dealing with two people who are heading in different directions but find a connection just as they pass by.
Cooper has delivered an impressive debut. The use of close handheld cameras really put you on the stage and brings across the energy of the live music. Cooper is impressive as the ageing star both in terms of acting and singing. But the real revelation is Lady Gaga. She is so real as Ali. Showing both passion and vulnerability as she makes the rise from unknown to the hot new thing. You quickly forget you are watching someone who is already a global superstar. The highlight of the film for me was when Jack practically drags Ali on stage to perform her song, which she had sung to him a few nights before in a car park. This moment is the stuff of fantasy for anyone who attended a gig and imagined getting up on stage and belting out a number! Spine-tingling stuff.
I really hope that Lady Gaga gets the Oscar for her performance as its the best I have seen this year. I expect the film to challenge across a number of categories. Great soundtrack too.
Rating – 8/10
Should you go and see it – Definitely. An emotional and highly entertaining romance with exceptional acting. Be warned though, this is no Rom-com.