Rating: 12s / Genre: Drama, Romance / Starring: Bradley Cooper, Lady GaGa / Directed By: Bradley Cooper / Written By: Will Fetters, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper / Released: October 5th 2018 / Runtime: 135 minutes / Studio: Warner Bros Pictures
Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
I’m going to be honest. I am aware I am in a minority when I say I did not enjoy this film. I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps it was a lot to do with how built up it had been for me before going into the film. Everyone I talked to who had seen it glorified it to high heavens. Yet, I came away from the cinema feeling like I’d wasted two hours of my life.
I felt that the story itself was a bit lacklustre. Yes, dramatic things happened but it was all bullshit. I think what happens in the finale (for those who have seen it) is very sad, don’t get me wrong, but also felt it was purely there for the sake of drama and the fact that it was thrown in there for good measure just made me roll my eyes. It’s as though the film was trying too hard to make you cry. I felt that it dragged and was not all that interesting.
Frankly, I’m wondering why it was even necessary at all. We already had the Kris Kristopherson and Barbara Streisand version. Frankly, if you’ve seen this one you’ll wonder why there was need for this new version. But the world is different now and apparently this nonsense is what appeals to people nowadays. I think Bradley Cooper is simply copying Kris Kistropherson’s performance from the original, rather than doing his own thing. He’s acting as Kris Kristopherson’s character rather than the character in the new script.
I didn’t buy into the relationship between Lady GaGa’s character and Bradley Cooper’s character. I didn’t see the chemistry that a lot of other people have clearly seen. Some of the dialogue was quite cheesy and forced and, in the end, didn’t actually amount to anything. It was all a bit pretentious, it wanted mean something more than it actually did. The romance of it all is underwhelming.
I have nothing against Bradley Cooper or Lady GaGa, I think they have been successful in the past in their respective fields. I have enjoyed many of Bradley Cooper’s films in the past, and I think it’s admirable this was a directorial debut for him. However, I really don’t consider this his best film. I also think Lady GaGa should have stuck to singing and performing in the music industry. She’s not a terribly bad actress, but she’s not as wonderful as a lot of actresses out there today, who because of this film, are not getting the recognition they deserve. This opinion goes back to her days in American Horror Story. Again, I just didn’t see it myself, personally. As a singer I admire what she does. But as an actress…Sometimes it’s ok for musicians not to cross over into the film industry even if they are great performers.
I feel I should say something positive, so I will say I did like the soundtrack. The songs, to their credit, have nice lyrics and are enjoyable. I wouldn’t say they were Lady GaGa’s best but they’re good just the same.
I also wouldn’t fault the cinematography. The film looks good. Probably one of the only aspects that kept me in the seat. (That, and I thought my friend was enjoying the film – it turns out we both felt the same after leaving and were kicking ourselves we didn’t say something after all). I know a lot of people are going to disagree heavily with what I’ve just said but this is my review. I didn’t enjoy this film. I’m actually baffled it’s an Oscar Best Picture nomination. Then again, I’m baffled by a lot of the films that have been nominated this year.