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A Star is Born - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews
Very emotional and impactful movie. No wonder there are mental health trigger warnings all over this thing. I would even go so far to say that I don't think I could comfortably describe this as a "music movie."
That being said, I don't remember the last time I've seen a movie so perfectly suited to not only be nominated but to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I thought it was excellent but I wouldn't even put this in my top ten of the year. I think the Academy will be all over this one.
Speaking of which, I don't see how Bradley Cooper cannot win Best Actor for this. He's absolutely transformative in the role. When you see stills of the movie (like the thumbnail), sure you can probably think, "yeah that's Bradley Cooper right there," but when you have Jack standing in front of you on the big screen, it's REALLY hard to think of this person as either Bradley Cooper or any other character he's ever played. He's become quite the actor. I don't know how he mastered that accent either other than spending months living with Sam Elliott.
There are a couple of back-to-back scenes up near the final act which are just HUGE dramatic scenes and acted to perfection. One where Ally visits Jack in rehab, and the other where Jack gets dropped off at home by his brother. I was slammed into the back of my theatre seat quite soundly by those scenes. Bradley Cooper was incredible.
Apart from that, the music is phenomenal. The first live performance of Shallow is incredible as are many of the other songs. This is where Lady Gaga really comes to shine and I'd be remiss if I didn't say that she was quite impressive in many ways in this.
I think the only thing I feel bitter about is that the way the ending came about seemed a little rushed, and I didn't want the movie to end anytime soon. Which ultimately is a good thing to feel about a movie you're watching. Those drag queens were a total blast too.
I can't wait for Kevin Hart to announce Cooper and Gaga performing one of the songs together at the Oscars.
I'm curious if I could get through this movie again. I want to, but I bet it would be a rough ride the 2nd time through. Really loved it.
For me, though, the whole second half of the movie seems rushed and poorly plotted. Ally's transformation from anti-pop to glam-queen took like two seconds, but Cooper's fiasco at the Grammy's seemed interminable. Not to mention how one unfortunate conversation seemed to completely flip a switch in his brain. The directing in the first half was visceral and interesting, but the back half was kind of a mess.
Still a good film, though, and one I recommend (although less enthusiastically to film-snobs like us).
I'm really mad I didn't mention Sam Elliott in my review. When he's backing up the driveway, and you see that his face is BARELY holding it together.... I let out a deep, deep sigh in the theatre just from the impact of that very short scene. Have you ever seen Sam Elliott come anywhere close to that type of vulnerability on-screen? I haven't.
GREG! I'm SO HAPPY you shared your thoughts. You totally captured my biggest frustration in the movie. How ONE conversation with her manager totally 'flips a switch' for him. I found that super lazy screenwriting just to advance the movie very quickly towards an end. It ESPECIALLY doesn't hold water because of the two scenes he just had with his wife and brother, showing a CLEAR mental health progression as a result of the rehab. So he shouldn't be THAT sensitive. That's uniquely the reason I docked it two whole points on the brain rating. It's the only thing that bothers me.
Yeah, the Grammy's fiasco was painful. They shouldn't have shown him crumpled on the stairs, "...did....did you win?" instead it would have had more impact if he clumsily gets up beside her and you assume she walked to the stage alone. Then all of a sudden he just shows up next to her on stage and you feel the horror at the same time as her. But I think the scene of him coming apart during the prep for Roy Orbison was very very important, since she recognizes immediately what's happened.
I think Ally's quick transformation is totally fine since that's what actually happens. Even Josie and the Pussycats touched on that since it's so well known that labels and managers do this with new hot stars. The only thing that didn't seem to hold as much water is her defiant personality seemed to really take a back step all of a sudden, and you sort of feel that she would still be her during that whole thing. Like if you say no to backup dancers, you should be saying no to just about everything about that SNL performance.
Anyway, we're making it sound like a bad movie but it isn't at all. We just want it to be perfect I think cuz we care
Academy will absolutely love this as much as they loved the Artist, which I think, as you do, is more than is warranted. BTW, did you notice how similar the story is to The Artist in some ways? Well... the backstory at least.
anyway, it's good to talk about this with someone
There are so many things they could have done to make that sequence better. It's really kind of a shame. I did like one thing, however, and this was also pointed out in some review I read somewhere, that despite how drunk he was, he still *nailed* his performance piece. That's an important part of his puzzle/disease, and something a lesser film would have used to shame him even more.
Black Barney wrote: Yeah, the Grammy's fiasco was painful. They shouldn't have shown him crumpled on the stairs, "...did....did you win?" instead it would have had more impact if he clumsily gets up beside her and you assume she walked to the stage alone. Then all of a sudden he just shows up next to her on stage and you feel the horror at the same time as her. But I think the scene of him coming apart during the prep for Roy Orbison was very very important, since she recognizes immediately what's happened.