The Observer

Stellar performances in 2018’s best film

Lars Torres, Staff Reporter

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“A Star is Born” is one of the most remade properties in cinema. It is an undying love story for every generation in the 20th and now the 21st century about the consequences of passion.  The film marks actor Bradley Cooper’s first foray into directing, and he takes advantage of his talent both behind and in front of the camera for the fourth remake of the classic story. In a stroke of genius, Cooper and everyone involved, especially the talented Lady Gaga, managed to craft what may be the best film of 2018.

The story follows the renowned country singer Jackson Maine (Cooper), who suffers from drug addiction and hearing problems as he enters the peak of his career. One night, after a thoroughly successful concert performance, Maine ventures off to a bar to continue his drug binge, where he stumbles upon Ally Campana (Lady Gaga), a waitress and aspiring singer who captivates Jackson immensely. Following the performance, they strike up conversation that leads them into new stages of life. They quickly become both professionally and romantically intertwined when Campana begins to shine and breakout into a star.

Through gritty realism, Cooper creates a relatable story about love and pain. He presents an incredibly grounded portrayal of a broken man battling addiction, bringing forth smiles and tears as he wishes the best for his love in spite of his inner torment.  Behind the camera, Cooper gives the audience a clear and unflinching look at the hardships that even the most famous can endure from their troubled pasts and their dealings with the turbulent present.

The music sequences are unforgettable because of their personal nature. The crowds are rarely shown on camera and their applause is sometimes masked to make the audience focus on Cooper and Gaga’s chemistry and excellent singing. Gaga boasts a powerhouse performance, possibly the best performance of any actor this year, as viewers witness the joys, thrills and tears of a doomed romance. The naturalistic dialogue compliments the actors’ performances, especially for Sam Elliott, who plays Maine’s brother Bobby. He gives a pained and emotionally resonant performance as he grapples with his love for his brother and his sadness and anger at his brother’s addiction.  

Almost every technical aspect of “A Star is Born” is stellar, and Cooper brings forth an impressive and realistic take on an age old story. The story culminates into one of the finest finales in film, bringing forth all the tears and joy that comes with a relationship so wonderfully realized and portrayed. The tears will roll long after the credits when you slowly realize that you just witnessed a masterpiece of love and passion.

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Stellar performances in 2018’s best film