A Star Is Born
A rock star falls for a talented nobody.
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut “appears primed to contend for major Oscars,” said David Sims in TheAtlantic.com. In his reprise of one of Hollywood’s classic romantic dramas, the first-time filmmaker also stars as Jackson Maine, a lonely country singer struggling with addiction. After a show, Jackson ends up at a bar where a singing waitress—played by Lady Gaga—mesmerizes him. When the wayward souls fall in love, the movie soars, thanks to “Cooper’s ability to indulge in sheer romanticism” and the genuinely thrilling and original music they make together. Gaga’s acting is as eye-opening as her singing, said Stephanie Zacharek in Time.com. “Cooper fades into the corner at just the right moments, allowing Gaga to shine.” Even without her usual stage makeup, she radiates charisma as the shy, blue-collar girl who’s uncertain about the spotlight. There are also “small but terrific” supporting turns by Dave Chappelle and by Sam Elliott, who plays the older brother trying to talk sense into Jackson when his drinking worsens. “You can see each new movement coming a mile away, but it hardly matters,” said Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s remarkable just how many fresh reserves of emotion Cooper teases out of a well-worn formula.” ■