'Maybe it's time to let the old ways die.' sings director Bradley Cooper's washed up alcoholic country crooner Jackson Maine in this brilliantly watchable remake of the 1937 classic. Cooper stars alongside Lady Gaga, who dazzles as his protege Ally, a talented singer songwriter working as a waitress during the day and singing french classics in a drag bar at night.
The story centres around Jackson and Ally, who fall in love after a chance encounter and must fight to stay together after Ally rockets to superstardom. The pair are undeniably electric as these two tragically flawed characters trying desperately to fix each other.
Lady Gaga is incredible as the vulnerable Ally
Gaga is particularly astounding as Ally, a struggling singer songwriter with dreams of stardom, her viridescent eyes well with vulnerability every moment she's on screen, and she deftly transitions from struggling waitress, to plucky singer songwriter to acclaimed superstar.
Cooper also shines as Jackson Maine, a depressed alcoholic fighting to keep his career afloat as his hearing fails and his star withers and dies. The film also marks an assured directorial debut for Cooper, who masterfully makes this decades old story feel fresh and new, and gives the central love story room to breathe without cluttering the film with unnecessary subplots and asides.
The film features deft direction from first time director Bradley Cooper
Given its starring actress' reputation as a songwriter, it's no surprise that the soundtrack is excellent. The music transitions from country to manufactured pop, to heartfelt ballad, and with the final, heart wrenching ballad, Gaga gives a vocal performance to rival Whitney Houston’s acclaimed turn in The Bodyguard.
This story is over eight decades old, following the original, it was subsequently remade as a musical starring Judy Garland in one of her most recognisable performances post-Oz. Barbra Streisand won an Oscar for Best Original Song for yet another remake released in 1976, in which she starred alongside Kris Kristofferson, making this the fourth retelling of this timeless love story, and it may just be the best rendition yet.
The pair are dynamite together on screen
Charismatic and talented leads, confident direction from its first time director and a stunning soundtrack mean this love story for the ages will surely in time become an enduring classic.
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