A Star is Born Drama

TIFF Review: ‘A Star is Born’

September 14, 2018Ben MK

For anyone lamenting that they don't make movies like they used to, Bradley Cooper's directorial debut is a classic Hollywood romance with a contemporary twist that's sure to please even the most cynical viewer.

In this remake of the thrice-told tale first brought to the big screen in 1937, Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a jaded country music superstar with a penchant for drugs and alcohol. But when Jackson makes an impromptu stop at a drag bar one night after a show, he meets Ally (Lady Gaga), and suddenly his whole world changes. A server at a restaurant with dreams of being a singer, Ally is quickly swept up in a whirlwind love affair with Jackson, which also leads to her own dreams of stardom coming true. But with his self-destructive tendencies looming large over their relationship, can their love survive?

Needless to say, A Star is Born has its share of emotional moments. But what's surprising, perhaps, is that the film's most resonant scenes belong not to Cooper and Lady Gaga, but to him and Sam Elliott, who plays Jackson's long-suffering older brother and manager. Together, the pair bring some much needed depth to a movie that might otherwise have been too old-fashioned for its own good.

A Star is Born makes its North American premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 15 min.

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