Samuel Schofield’s review published on Letterboxd:
Star by name, star by nature.
A star is born achieves everything it sets to do and more. Upon watching this initially I expected a typical romantic film that blasts through cinemas for gathering a cool 500m dollars until the next clone comes around. Bradley Coopers A Star Is Born however surpasses all pre conceptions I had with a wonderful entanglement of talent, love, substance abuse and more.
The narrative this film drives stars Bradley Cooper playing musical superstar Jackson Maine who although supremely talented suffers from severe substance abuse as he meets and falls in love with Ally, a similar talented musician whose yet to have her big break having had her hopes dashed by big record labels constantly.
The acting in the film is really great with supporting roles being hammered home by Sam Elliot and even Lady Gaga putting in some great work although I found her performance somewhat pretentious in the beginning. It is Cooper who steals the show with an excellent take on a man being tore apart by addiction and self loathing. It is this performance that gives the film true meaning showing that a man with so much talent can still be destroyed by his human nature.
It would be easy to think that the backdrop of the movie being two great singers could be there as a reason for Gaga to sing to sell a soundtrack but that exact setting is what makes us understand how powerful this story can be. When Ally kicks the door in of the music world Jackson finds it crushing him as he sees the love of his life being manipulated and moulded by the industry into something he never wanted for her. Expertly edited, A Star Is Born never lets up in reflecting the weight Ally is carrying by loving a downward spiralling Jackson. The speed in which we see Jackson let ally down seems to speeded towards the end of the film almost as if his wrong doings don’t need as much explaining as like Ally, we have come to expect the least from him.