‘A Star is Born’ hit cinemas on the 5th October and the hype surrounding it doesn’t seem to be slowing. I think the film will perform very similarly to ‘The Greatest Showman’- the hype surrounding the film and the album will grow week on week. It is great to see musicals be revived and being so well received from classical musicals like Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’ to more hybrid musical drama’s like ‘A Star is Born’.

This ‘A Star is Born’ (2018) is the third remake of the 1937 film of the same name (it was re-made for the first time in 1954, again in 1976 and for a third time in 2018). It is easy to see why it has been re-made so many times- it is a simple and timeless story of older star who mentors an undiscovered talent. In this case that story is of ageing country singer Jackson (Cooper) and waitress Ally (Gaga).

I was admittedly surprised by ‘A Star is Born’ and just how much I liked it. Although the story is predictable it has more to say about the music industry and life in general than I thought a film of this kind would. There is a lot of commentary on having your voice heard and the power that fame can give. There’s also a really important focus on mental health and substance abuse. I think everyone will take something different away from this film.

The title of this film is as true to life as it is to the plot of the film, it marks Gaga’s acting debut and Cooper’s singing/directing debut. Lady Gaga shines as Ally, what is sometimes risky about casting an already well-known star in a film like this is that they will just play themselves, but this isn’t the case with Gaga. Gaga seamlessly portrays Ally’s journey through the film from a ‘regular’ person to pop stardom.

Cooper and Gaga’s chemistry is electric. Ally and Jackson’s relationship is what is at the heart of this story, it is where it begins and continues to go back to. It is both a heart breaking and beautifully romantic.

What makes ‘A Star is Born’ really stand out is the soundtrack. Each song sounds like it could be a real-world hit, which they have become since the album was released. The album delights with country hits of Jackson’s, pop hits of Ally’s and the stars of the album: their duets. The performance of ‘Shallow’ is one of the standout moments of the film, it’s truly spine tingling. Since seeing the film ‘Shallow’ has been on repeat for me. The other stand out song on the soundtrack is ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ which is an instant classic, be warned part of this song and scene will catch you by surprise emotionally. I would recommend watching the film before listening to the soundtrack, I can almost guarantee you’ll end up with it on repeat after seeing the film.

April Atkin

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