A Star Is Born: Far From The Oscars Now

Many words of appreciation and excitement were said about A Star Is Born reboot: another fairytale that got eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Leading Actor & Actress, Cinematography etc., but won just Best Original Song. Despite of critics` warm welcome I could ever hardly agree that Bradley Cooper`s directing debut was powerful enough to stand competition with best examples of Oscar-level excellence. What went wrong and what could have made it right – let`s take all facts and rumors to find the truth.

First of all, it still seems strange to me when a derivative, repeated story goes after Oscar, especially in Adapted Screenplay nomination. It`s a simple logic, how can the film aspire to an award while its origin is far long buried under numerous piles of iterations? A Star Is Born started its path in distant 1937 followed by same plots under the same name in 1954 and 1976 respectively. The duel-provoking question of “Lady Gaga or Barbra Streisand” in these circumstances loses all point: although the story is unchanged, the time, people`s minds and mostly fashion is different. New generation, new music, new stars. That`s the only explanation for having the Mother Monster in the film. I never doubted Lady Gaga`s vocals and performing talent, so the Original Song nomination is fine and well deserved, but Leading Actress was too much, honestly. Wearing no make-up is not much of a bravery, many girls all around the world face this challenge successfully every day with no nominations and awards.

Same thing with Bradley Cooper. He was not nominated as the director and I`m okay with this: there was nothing special or impressive in his directing. On the other hand, his acting approach is undoubtedly responsible, since he was supposed to play a rockstar he wanted to look natural in this role. But all his efforts brought no sensational outcome, while his character is experiencing crash of career, he seemingly tries to play up to Lady Gaga. Actors got addicted to these ‘losing chess’, and the quality of the film turned out to be the loser.

Surely I am not the Holy Inquisition and don`t want to blame and accuse at the slightest pretext without saying something good. Learning additional facts about the film makes me think that the final result could be much more electric. The most intriguing rumor was Jack White could portray the leading character. Imagine what a different story it might be, seasoned with abrasive guitar and garage sounded Detroit vibes. Anyway, it`s just a fantasy, since the musician never confirmed his intention to participate in this project. Getting back to the reality, Bradley Cooper played Jackson Maine himself, but it could hardly be possible without having some real example or source of inspiration. Eddie Vedder, the frontman of Pearl Jam, has become such a music model. Composer expressed some sceptics about remaking the classic story, but anyway met Bradley Cooper and advised him on performing style, some rock and country tricks. Seattle-based musician has already participated in films, his latest performance was included as a Road House guest episode in David Lynch`s Twin Peaks, season 3. There`s much of Vedder`s signature cold charm in Bradley Cooper`s stage performances, but the thing was in not making a copy. Unfortunately, Bradley failed in both: he made a bleak copy without dressing it in some own novelty.




  1. Diletant
    March 5th, 2019 | 7:29 pm

    Dear “Kot_pofigist”,
    Many thanks for your wonderful review – I’d never go to the cinema to watch another remake of great oldies featuring old stories and great performers. Maybe, with one exception of Lady Gaga who managed to receive from you both a compliment for her vocals and a sharp remark about her bravery of wearing no make-up! All of this just in one sentence, not even in one passage… Only girls can do it. The real ones)
    Otherwise, your’s a fine review, beatufully done, well modulated. And very informative.

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