A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

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mfunk9786
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#76 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:23 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:07 pm
From reading her further comments, whatever her initial tweet means was probably said tongue-in-cheek. But it can't possibly surprise many here that a musician would hear the songs in the trailer and immediately start rolling their eyes?
I don't have a ton of patience for someone so pedantic that they wouldn't forgive a film about one (or two, not sure the exact plot of this one) very commercial musicians having some hackneyed songs in it. I like Case's music a bunch, but does the pop-country music that Cooper's character is playing for stadiums have to be to her exacting level of intimacy and/or quality? Would that even be realistic?

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domino harvey
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#77 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:25 pm

I think you are taking this way, way too seriously

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mfunk9786
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#78 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:41 pm

Just explaining why it might possibly surprise many here. I don't particularly have a dog in this fight, I love Case's work and think this movie looks like shit.

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tenia
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#79 Post by tenia » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:06 pm

What I don't understand is why this specific movie should be singled out for having an actor doing (I suppose) sub-par singing but still having good reviews, while this is neither the first nor the last musical movie to be in this position.

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Brian C
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#80 Post by Brian C » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:13 pm

Well, if she was just kidding around though, then she wasn’t singling out anything.

Or again, if she wasn’t joking, then ... maybe she just doesn’t like Bradley Cooper.

Either way, probably not worth fretting over, eh?

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hearthesilence
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#81 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:01 pm

tenia wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:06 pm
What I don't understand is why this specific movie should be singled out for having an actor doing (I suppose) sub-par singing but still having good reviews, while this is neither the first nor the last musical movie to be in this position.
We know.

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domino harvey
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#82 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:06 pm


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hearthesilence
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#83 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:40 pm

Film Comment:
Michael Koresky wrote:First directed in 1937 by William Wellman and starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, A Star Is Born would, in its later remakes, increasingly become tied to the star personas of its leading women, in a way that almost negates common notions of auteurism...Cooper’s version certainly puts its star front and center, and isn’t shy about the fact that its female protagonist, Ally, is modeled on Lady Gaga herself; yet Cooper’s need to own this film, to make his directorial control felt in every frame, is just as evident throughout and becomes its own assertion of stardom as well. The result is a sometimes exhilarating, occasionally frustrating, and always cunning Hollywood product that can feel like a battle of wills between two deliberately self-deprecating artists.

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Foam
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#84 Post by Foam » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:15 am

Well, I thought this was very solid. Saw it Thursday and immediately again today with my mom and liked it more the second time, which must count for something. I was first happy to see two imo shitty moments in the ads redeemed as altogether different and charming in the film itself. Bradley Cooper is an actor's director after my own heart. This is one of the most achingly well-paced mainstream dramas in years and stylistically his work here is either swaggeringly bombastic or restrained with a nuzzly intimacy appropriate to whatever the moment demands. Initially I agreed with those who thought that the first 40 minutes were much better than the rest of the film, but tonight I disagreed and appreciated many fine touches I hadn't noticed before and can say for sure that there's enough attention to detail in how these performances are choreographed that the whole picture rewards close viewing. If nothing else this films surpasses anything I've ever seen in the department of "person looking at someone they love"--chemistry would be putting it mildly. I also disagree with social media's overemphasis on "Shallow" to the exclusion of the other songs here; my favorite was "Always Remember Us This Way" and it's really this scene which showcases Lady Gaga's raw talent as a performer more than any other. I could find zero problems with her performance--I was once a fanboy and now I am again; ymmv. I predict this will work better if you identify as having a more affective than intellectual temperament but what do you expect? It's not an out and out masterpiece but also something I wouldn't mind seeing even a third time.


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Murdoch
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#86 Post by Murdoch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:12 am

I agree with Foam, this was an excellent version of the story, elevating the material through some of the best performances I've seen this year. Cooper has never appealed to me but him doing his best Jeff Bridges impression worked, largely because of his chemistry with the other actors. Gaga is very natural in the role, and I think that stems largely because she's essentially playing herself, but she did a great job keeping up with Cooper even during the improv scenes. But by far the standout was Sam Elliott, who doesn't get much screen-time but does a lot with it. One scene in particular between Cooper and him where Cooper struggles to express himself after Elliott gives him a ride home was so simple, but made me tear up since it just illustrates perfectly the difficulty of expressing something positive toward a family member you only fight with. When I think of perfect moments in films of this year, that scene will pop right into my head. There are some parts that feel rushed, like the dinner at Chappelle's house and the ending, but this isn't really a movie to see for the story since just about everyone knows it by now (at least on this board). I also rather liked how when Gaga's career began to skyrocket and both her look and sound changed, the film didn't take this chance to take much of a dig at modern pop music, but rather presented it as Cooper being over-the-hill and just personally uncomfortable with the changes (I especially appreciated it after seeing La La Land again recently, which presented the same kind of transformation as an inherently unartistic symptom of selling out). It just feels like a breath of fresh air to see a box office hit film entirely centered on performance and *deep breath* I look forward to what Cooper does next as a director. I think this worked so well because there's a tried-and-true story he's working from, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for his next directing gig.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#87 Post by Roger Ryan » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:13 pm

I was impressed as well with this iteration. Cooper is careful not to overplay the cuteness and, while some of the plot turns seem unrealistic (how in the world does Maine come up with a full arrangement for his band to perform of Ally's sketch of a song in only a few hours?), the world he has created feels fairly authentic and sincere. The well-worn story is primarily presented in brief fragments, but Cooper isn't afraid to slow things down to a near stop for the longer conversational scenes. This is where it really paid off in hiring such top shelf supporting talent. As mentioned above, Elliott is stunning and Chappelle's lone scene is a gem. For me, the highlight is the exchange late in the film between Cooper's character and one played by Ron Rifkin; a scene that carries a heavy import, but is played with remarkable restraint.

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Brian C
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#88 Post by Brian C » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:39 pm

This article felt like a lot of wheel-spinning to me, because the author conflates "honesty" with "authenticity", which is a word that, unless I'm mistaken, isn't even used in the film. It's really easy to make the superficial connection between Lady Gaga's real-life career and Ally's, but I don't think that's what the film is really doing.

Within the context of the film, "honesty" seems pretty easy to define: just believe in what you're doing and what you're saying, and don't let others create your art for you. And to the film's credit, the extent to how much Ally adheres to this concept is ambiguous. We see her dismiss her backup dancers and that seems like her asserting herself, but the next time she's performing, the dancers are there and her objections are not heard from again. We see her rehearsing later and she seems comfortable, as far as we can tell. We're told that the hair color was her choice. But then at the end of the film, she's back to (presumably) her natural color.

It's important, I think, that Jack tells her early on - in the most glowing of terms - that she's a "songwriter". He brings her out on stage to perform, but it's not one of his songs, but one of hers that plainly means a lot to him. And if Ally, in turn, defines herself as primarily a songwriter, then I think it's fair to presume that her priorities would be different than if he was principally a performer. As a songwriter, she probably would have less of an artistic objection to pop trappings and the attendant artifice. And after all, Jack meets her performing in a drag club, which is an environment where that kind of excess in celebrated anyway. Also notable is that Jack never complains to her about the dancing or the outfits or the hair. When he finally breaks down and shittalks her music, he's upset with the line about how that ass looks in those jeans. This is a songwriting-based critique, as well.

On the other hand, I have no idea what "authenticity" means in this context, especially since Pareles seems to be equating a pop direction with inauthenticity. Jack performs one kind of music, but there's no reason to believe that Ally would naturally gravitate to performing the same kind of music he does. She plainly knows who Jack is before they meet, at least enough to recognize him, but again, Jack first meets her performing music that's nothing like his. I don't think the movie is insisting that going her own way - even into a very pop-oriented one - is "inauthentic", at least not for her.

At any rate, I think one of the real weaknesses of the film is that so much of her career is seen through Jack's eyes. To be blunt, nothing is all that interesting about him - he's an established star, not really young anymore but still obviously a live draw, he has a drinking problem ... and that's really about it. It's Ally who has to navigate the business, yet Cooper as director never really commits to telling her story except for how it intersects with Jack's. I haven't seen the other films that preceded this remake, but it's a poor storytelling choice.

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Foam
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#89 Post by Foam » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:46 pm

Just got back from my third viewing tonight. That I like it more and more each time really says something about it. Part of what I appreciate is how it deals with these questions of authenticity.
Murdoch wrote: I also rather liked how when Gaga's career began to skyrocket and both her look and sound changed, the film didn't take this chance to take much of a dig at modern pop music, but rather presented it as Cooper being over-the-hill and just personally uncomfortable with the changes
I'm not so sure the film limits this strictly to Main's perspective, though. After all, one of the lines in Ally's SNL song is "this is not like me" and she even tells her manager she's afraid of losing touch with the part of herself that is talented. Then she says "that doesn't even look like me" in response to seeing a slideshow of her publicity photos, and Maine says that her big billboard doesn't "do her justice." And there's the makeup controversy, with many saying Gaga looks best in the film, surprisingly so, when she's wearing less; during the film's preproduction Cooper took a makeup wipe to Gaga's face, having to reassure her that she was indeed beautiful in the raw. Much ink has already been spilled pointing out how problematic this might be taken out of context, but the film I think is aware of the potentially reductive reading. After all, her first performance in the drag club is characterized by high artifice while also being totally authentic for her character, which arguably isn't true of one of her hit songs later. And the drag queens, most themselves when embracing supposed artifice, are not treated as inauthentic in any way; quite the opposite. So there's at the very least a productive ambiguity being entertained here.

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Murdoch
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#90 Post by Murdoch » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:37 pm

That's true that Ally voices a few concerns but Jack's perspective nudges out Ally's at the third act, and while she seems to adopt her changed physical appearance and altered sound, Jack never comes around to it. It's unfortunate that Ally is given more focus at this point since her story, as Brian said above, is the much more interesting of the two. I would have much preferred to see her perspective take center stage as she reconciled her love of music with an industry trying to funnel her into a specific physical type but once she takes off she becomes a supporting player to Jack's substance abuse story.

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Luke M
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Re: A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

#91 Post by Luke M » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:55 am

Thought this was pretty terrible. Scenes ranged from cheesy to emotionally manipulative. Nothing about it felt authentic. The songs were decent but nothing I’d listen to outside seeing the movie. Also, I’ve never seen any of the other films but about that ending.
SpoilerShow
I really wasn’t expecting it. Would any of us suggest Bill kill himself for embarrassing Hillary or Jay-Z for Beyoncé? The movie suggests it was the only option for Lady Gaga’s career to move forward. The manager is never reprimanded for his comments. Worse the final shot is framed in such a way that Gaga has achieved peak stardom. It’s all quite terrible. Maybe this was fine back in the day but it’s 2018. I thought we were supposed to be woke.

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