A Star is Born
This creaky, lumbering, rock-and-roll romance is the third official remake of William Wellman’s 1937 showbiz melodrama A Star is Born, itself an unofficial remake of George Cukor’s 1932 film What Price Hollywood? The greatest version of A Star is Born was also made by Cukor, this time in 1954, but like the 1976 remake with Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand, this newest version concerns musicians instead of actors. Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut and stars as Jackson Maine, a shambling country-rock god drowning in booze and pills, at least until a golden-voiced unknown named Ally (Lady Gaga) offers a lifeline. However, while Ally’s career begins to take off, Jackson’s career trends in the opposite direction, and he seeks further refuge in self-destruction. Both leads are fine, albeit one-note, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique supplies some sharp images, but the movie is pervasively musty and false, with some brutally bad songs to boot.