“A Star Is Born” Comes Up Short

Grace Aitken, News Editor

The newest rendition of A Star Is Born, while entertaining, matches it’s most popular song: Shallow.

The beginning of the movie is intriguing. The audience is immediately attracted to a timeless story with a modern light and the highlight of the movie was Lady Gaga’s portrayal of the young talent, Ally.

Despite this being her first starring role in a major feature film, she plays the character effortlessly. Her voice and features give Ally an edge that is appealing to a modern audience. Her stark independence is likeable and relatable to today’s women.

Conversely, one of the weakest points of the movie was Cooper’s one dimensional portrayal of the fading country star Jackson Maine. Where Gaga’s character Ally showed depth and growth to her character, Cooper’s Maine fell into a repetitive slew of drunken scenes. He had few aspects to his character other than his addiction, and while that showed his crippling disability, it gave the audience little sympathy for him.

As the movie progresses and Ally’s fame surpasses her partner’s, their love story seems strained and unconvincing

At the beginning of the movie the love story seems genuine, with Maine taking Ally on tour and showcasing her immense talent, ultimately leading to her big break. She eventually moves into his house, they get a dog, and seem undeniably in love. But as the movie progresses and Ally’s fame surpasses her partner’s, their love story seems strained and unconvincing.

By the end of the movie their relationship is so poorly developed it seems as if Ally is with him more out of obligation than love. There isn’t a long period of time in the movie where Maine is sober and the couple is happy- so when Maine’s health goes south and Ally’s fame skyrockets, he seems as more of a dead weight she has to carry with her.

One of the best parts of the movie is Sam Elliot as Bobby Maine, the failed musician who became the manager of his troubled younger brother. Elliot plays this character masterfully, and adds depth to Jackson Maine’s character that is otherwise lacking. Similarly, Anthony Ramos as Ally’s supportive best friend gives the film a wholesome aspect that draws the audience into Ally’s story.

With well written songs and the deepness of Cooper’s voice paired with the sheer power of Gaga’s, the soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks of this year. Songs like “Shallow” and “Maybe It’s Time” showcase the actors’ talent and are easy to listen to, even without seeing the movie.

The weakest part of the film is that it lacks any sort of message. The film doesn’t “say” anything, it is just another rock drama with a love story. If there were a greater meaning it would make the story impactful, and not just emotional. Cooper had the chance to convey an important message, yet the film fell short.

While it’s a successful directorial debut for Cooper, and an entertaining modern twist of the beloved yet familiar tale, the movie overall lacks the emotional depth to live up to its 1954 predecessor. It fails to convey any sort of message for its viewers-who are left at the end of the film undoubtedly emotional, yet unknowing as to what the point of the story actually was.