A Star is Born 2018 *****

A terrible idea on paper, no matter what the cast was, it’s perhaps understandable that only large fan-bases of the two established stars featured here would have been excited about this project. Director and star Bradley Cooper plays the famously flaming-out toxic-male musician here with a little less of the arrogance of Kris Kristofferson in the previous version. Lady Gaga’s pop-culture status makes her a perfect update for Barbara Streisand, playing someone believably real in a way that feels like a revelation after a career marked by elusive novelty. This is a straight re-thinking of the 1976 version, a film which was seen at the time as very modish, suggesting a genuine affection for the material. If a drunken act of public urination at an awards ceremony can be considered a flourish, A Star Is Born is crammed with such innovation, notably the revival of the  ‘…just wanted to look at you one more time.’ line which was originally featured in the 1936 version. A Star Is Born got overshadowed at the awards run-in by Bohemian Rhapsody, which was more of a pop-culture cartoon rather than a genuine depiction of fame and loss, but once the mist of comparison has cleared, Cooper and Gaga’s chemistry makes this version of A Star Is Born into a once-in a-generation stone-cold classic.


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