Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
So this is where the template for the generic music biopic came from.
"Unless you get out there and try to do it, you'll never know. That's just the truth. If there's one reason we're suppose to be here is to say somethin' so people wanna hear it."
This is the first version of 'A Star is Born' that I have seen, but already I fell like I have seen this story so many times before. I was a huge fan of 'Walk The Line' and this movie is basically the same thing but sadder. But putting the story aside Bradley Cooper did a great job Directing and staring-in this latest version of the story.
I have always been a fan of Lady Gaga, so it was cool to see her in this role of a dreamer that makes it big in the music world. Her performances and overall beautiful presence on screen was the best part. Although it felt a little odd how she started out by singing with this established Country singer, but ended up as a dancing pop star. I suppose they may have done that in order to fall inline with her real life persona.
I felt like Bradley Cooper missed a big opportunity by not getting to the heart of the downfall of his character. Instead they just skimmed the surface of his jealously over Ally's career taking off, and the problem with his hearing that apparently was driving him to drink. But then at the rehab center we hear about his father issues, and that he had a failed suicide attempt as a teen. Call me crazy, but I wish we would have seen more of the pain that drove him to kill himself, and even a glimpse of him hanging there.
I think Cooper nailed the love story, but I just was not feeling why this guy who had it all was such a mess. Thinking back, I guess the only scene we got about him deciding to kill himself was when her manager told him how he was hurting her career. But why would he give a crap about what he had to say about it. And not once did we see Ally dealing with any backlash from him being a mess. I think it would have worked better if there was a moment when she broke down, and that's what drove him to do it.
Sam Elliott does a good job of being Sam Elliott, just with some tears added in. I wish he would have been more of a constant in the story instead of just popping in from time to time.
The music is really good, but I did not find any of it to particularly memorable or catchy. Of course Lady Gaga singing a solid ballad is always going to give me chills, but that was the extent of it. But what did stand out was the excellent camerawork and lighting associated with the performances. Also it was admirable how many on location concert crowds they got to give these performances an authentic feel.
Overall, despite A Star is Born being a relatively simple and familiar story, I found the majority of the drama to be surface level. Also this is the rare case where I think I would have been more invested if the story was about an actual musician. But I look forward to checking it out again when it hits home video, to see if I connects with me any more on a rewatch.
Thanks for reading!
Happy movie watching .... SKOL!