As a moviegoer in 2018, the idea of remakes clogging up multiplexes for the sake of a quick cash-grab is all too familiar. Is the most recent take on A Star is Born any different, or is it yet another one for the dustbin of history?
There are times in a cinema when you’re watching a film and you know you’re going to forget what’s in front of you within a matter of months, weeks, even days. However, every once in a while a film comes along that instantly presents itself as something that will stay with you for a very long time for all the right reasons.
It gives me a great deal of joy to say that the 2018 remake of A Star is Born easily falls into that latter category.
Yes it’s time to believe the hype for once, this film is really very good and – I’m willing to go out on a limb here – could well be considered great a few years down the line. I’ll save everyone the platitudes spread across the poster and full-page adverts in every newspaper, but A Star is Born definitely deserves to be seen on the big screen.
What makes this movie so good? Well for starters it’s the rare example of a remake done right. Any nods to the previous three versions are circumstantial at best – I’ll confess I’ve not seen any other version than this one but there’s no “I get that reference” moment presented at any point.
The story, though taken from source material that has been played and replayed over generations, feels fresh and engaging here; partly down to Bradley Cooper doing a fine job in his first outing as director and making it look like he’s been in that particular game for ages. There are some really interesting directorial decisions taken here that are executed with heaps of confidence and assuredness, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cooper attached to direct a lot more films in the future.
A good film needs solid characters and actors to play them, and here we have Cooper and Lady Gaga making the most of every frame they’re on screen. It’s no exaggeration to say this might be the best performance that Bradley Cooper has ever given, and while Gaga has proved her acting ability in the past, this is without doubt the role that will cement her status as a formidable actor as well as a none-too-shabby singer.
Of course, that facet of her talents is well displayed here too. The decision to sing everything live on camera is well documented by now but it is no less effective when you hear it through the film. It helps that the songs are really fun to listen to, if you can find a cinema that is willing to play A Star is Born at full whack then definitely go for it – I was lucky enough to have that experience and I cannot recommend it enough as the best way to watch this film.
In short, A Star is Born is just fantastic. It can get a bit “here’s my famous mate” at times with one or two cameos, but to have a story that is so done to death and make it feel fresh is a massive achievement and not worth the nitpicking. I have no doubt that there will be accolades a-plenty bestowed upon this film come the New Year, and movie studios will be no doubt chuffed that movie musicals are continuing their comeback tour with another big hit.