Lady Gaga… is the one who commands your attention: that sharp, quizzical, leonine, mesmeric face – an uningratiating face, very different from the wide-eyed openness of Streisand or Garland…
Her songs are gorgeous and the ingenuous openness of her scenes with Jackson are wonderfully sympathetic. Meanwhile Cooper, whose screen persona can so often be bland and unchallenging, makes precisely this conservative tendency work for him in the role. He is so sad you want to hug him.
The big question that’s been hovering in the air for months is, Can Lady Gaga act? It’s a ridiculous question. Singers often make fabulous actors. They’re primed for it: All singing is acting. But what’s surprising about Gaga is how charismatic she is without her usual extreme stage makeup, outlandish wigs and inventive costumes.
There’s a lot to love in Bradley Cooper’s entertaining remake of A Star is Born, including his convincing portrayal of a hard-drinking country rocker in some electrifying concert scenes, and the captivating debut in a big-screen leading role of Lady Gaga as the singer-songwriter whose career he launches, only to watch it quickly eclipse his own. The first-time director’s grasp of pacing could be improved and the overlong movie can’t quite sustain the energy and charm of its sensational start. But this is a durable tale of romance, heady fame and crushing tragedy, retold for a new generation with heart and grit.
A Star Is Born is that thing we always yearn for but so rarely get to see: a transcendent Hollywood movie. It’s the fourth remake of a story that dates back to 1932, but this one has a look and vibe all its own — rapturous and swooning, but also delicate and intimate and luminous…
As a filmmaker, Bradley Cooper gets right onto the high wire, staging scenes that take their time and play out with a shaggy intimacy that’s shorn of the usual “beats.” The new “Star Is Born” is a total emotional knockout, but it’s also a movie that gets you to believe, at every step, in the complicated rapture of the story it’s telling.
Cooper and Lady Gaga are dynamite together; this is a story that lives and dies by the central relationship and the instant chemistry that must blossom between them, and these two have it in spades. The musical numbers take immediately catchy songs and present them in an electrifying way.