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A Star Is Born: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Amaze Audiences

Charles Blaha, Staff Writer

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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper star in the movie A Star Is Born, which has been selling out theatres since its release in early October. Pop icon Lady Gaga removed all of her makeup and dropped the theatrical, shocking outfits to play the struggling artist, Ally Campana. Actor Bradley Cooper trained for months in voice and guitar to play rock/country icon, Jackson “Jack” Maine. A Star Is Born has actually been made three times prior to the 2018 version, each time with similar underlying stories but varying portrayals. The film opens with Jack performing “Black Eyes”, a rock number, in front of thousands of his fans. It’s soon uncovered that he performs intoxicated on multiple occasions. The film depicts Jack’s high energy music career, and how he suffers from tinnitus and alcoholism.

Looking for another drink, Jack stumbles into a drag bar and watches Ally perform the song “La Vie En Rose”. Blown away, Jack stays behind to have a drink with her. He notices and compliments her prominent nose, and she speaks about how her nose has been the reason record labels and producers refused to represent her. Later that night, Ally improvises a song about Jack’s clear desire to escape his visible emotional pain (deemed the “parking lot song” on the soundtrack”). She shows Jack the depth of her talent and he is inspired and determined to get her on stage, so people can hear her voice. A Star Is Born is a story of codependency and tragedy, but also of love and success. A few days later, Jack invites her onstage to perform the “parking lot song”, which is then titled “Shallow”. Frozen and stunned, Ally makes her way to the microphone in front of this large crowd and blows the audience away, similarly to the way she blew Jack away. Videos started circling the internet of this iconic duet, and Ally gained major recognition.

Their love story develops as they continue performing together, while the audience simultaneously falls in love with their relationship. The more Ally’s talent is showcased, the more her popularity increases, and she quickly becomes a household name. Halfway through the movie, Ally’s fame moves from a genuine wonder to a superficial pop career under new management; an early sign of this switch in character is when she is strongly advised to change her hair color. She performed on SNL a song titled “Why Did You Do That”. Catchy and electronic, the song does well with her audience, but Jack notices a switch in her style. The movie audience and critics agree there was a clear shift in flow during this time. He notices she is beginning to sing what people want to hear, rather than singing what she wants to say. Jack doesn’t want Ally to be disposed of like many pop artists are which emulates the careers of many artists in present day pop culture.

Ally’s career, Jack’s family life, and his alcoholism are cause to newfound tensions in their relationship–especially when he gets drunk and misses one of Ally’s first solo performances. Ally’s newfound career is a dream come true. However, Jack jeopardizes her career by making a drunken mistake at a major event, which was just the start of a downward spiral. As they deal with new obstacles the hopeful, light hearted tone transitions to a more distressed, hopeless atmosphere. Even for those who have seen any of the prior film versions of A Star Is Born, the ending may still shock you. The emotions I felt during this movie, especially the end, were unmatched with any movie I had ever seen.

As a long standing Gaga and Cooper fan, I felt as if I knew what to expect, but I was shocked and amazed during every second. In my opinion, Gaga’s portrayal of Ally was so genuine and organic. Gaga stated previously that she had to truly immerse herself into her character months before even shooting. She dyed her hair back to her natural medium brown color and really tried to remember her teenage roots as she was trying to make it big in New York City. The role was no doubt taxing on her, so after they shot the last scene she bleached her hair back to platinum to rid herself of the character. Also, her best friend Sonja Durham passed away during one of the last days of shooting, and she sang the final number after getting back from the hospital. As one could imagine, she gave one of the most show-stopping performances I’ve ever witnessed. On another note, Cooper’s portrayal of Jack was perfect. In the months leading up to the movie, Cooper told many interviewers that he doesn’t know how to sing and that he can’t sing, which made his singing debut much more special, especially because his voice is so amazing. Their connection as co-stars was breathtaking. Their voices fit so well together, and stand alone flawlessly. A Star is Born has been the topic of Oscar buzz since its announcement. I would recommend this movie to literally everyone. I will definitely be seeing this movie again.

One thing that can be taken away from this movie is that music is one of the most powerful forces, and one song can change a life.

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A Star Is Born: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Amaze Audiences