Kelly Is Not Dazzled by Star Is Born (2018)!

ASIB 003Rating: B-

Summary: A country star helps an aspiring singer/songwriter make her own way.

This is how hard I’ve been hit by Franchise Fatigue: instead of watching Spider-Man: Far From Home this weekend, I opted to catch up on Rocket Raccoon’s directorial debut.

In general, I’m trying to be a bit more conscious of the movies I watch. I did a quick analysis and I’ve watched the first 22 MCU movies, which equals a lot of time on a franchise that I’m just lukewarm on. So, instead of going to watch them for the sake of popularity, I’m going to start opting for things I’m more invested in, mostly from my backlog or ones that I’ve put off in favor of big opening weekends. Things I find more interesting, maybe a little smaller, and won’t fry my vision or hearing senses. Movies that I want to rewatch. I can’t say I fully enjoyed A Star Is Born, but I was engaged the whole way through. I don’t regret this decision at all.

First and foremost, I don’t think A Star Is Born a great movie… but it is a pretty impressive first work from Bradley Cooper. I’m not sure how much he relied on his cinematographer versus how he wanted this to look, but it is very pretty. I’m also not sure if I’ll go out of my way to watch another of his movies- this is is definitely an actor’s piece (Lady Gaga is really quite good in her first feature) and there is chemistry off the charts between our two leads here.

For the first forty or so minutes, they really carry the movie. For the rest of the film, it does start feeling a bit overindulgent and questionable decisions are made. Time really is this movie’s worst enemy. You can tell Cooper is playing around in the director’s chair, but he’s also guilty of getting way too attached to his characters. It also reeks of “Man, this is GREAT ACTING and we need to show more of it.” The amount of run time might have been necessary with worse actors, but Gaga and Cooper are just fine at showing mixed emotions in the scenes that count. By the third fight and fallout, it starts to feel overstuffed. Then there is a lot of time spent on the actual transformation of Ally’s career- she gets transformed from Carole King to Madonna without any protest- without showing the effect it’s having on the relationship. All we get to see is the infighting. Ally is successful because someone says she’s on a nationwide tour, but we don’t get to see Cooper twiddling his thumbs while she’s gone, that kind of thing. I could have used more of that.

(I also could have used a lot more Sam Elliot. What an underrated moustache actor. I actually thought his relationship with Cooper was more interesting than the Cooper/Gaga one, but movies need ROMANCE, am I right?)

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