A Star is Born(70/100)
(Possible spoilers(but not if you’ve seen any of the previous 3 versions)
Acting/Script Score(15/20) Cooper’s finest moment is his final embrace with Gaga, just as March’s goodbye to Gaynor was in the ’37 version. But once you’ve seen an actor pull off that scene do we really need to see it again? And I was tragically unmoved at the end. It seems that 2 minutes of critique from Ally’s manager is all it takes to push Jackson over the edge. The characters who inspire and captivate us are those who find sacrificial strength in love(Joy Newsome in “Room”, Georges Laurent in “Amour”, Frankie Dunn in “Million Dollar Baby.) Jackson seems content with his one attempt to conquer his demons.
Gaga’s finest moment was definitely her first performance at Jackson’s concert but that seems to be more a product of the cinematography than anything else.
Take Your Shot/Find Your Voice Score(40/40) The first concert scene with both Jackson and Ally is definitely the highlight of the film. Well paced(Ally waits just long enough before stepping to the mic), well photographed(Cooper’s penchant for close-ups is best used here) and great musical chemistry between Jackson and Ally.
You’ve got something to say Score(0/20) This is where the movie totally lost me. Both her husband and her manager tell Ally that she now has a platform to say things the world needs to hear. She’s found her voice so what will she say? Well, she says, “Why did you do that, do that. do that, do that, do that to me?” Yeah, I’m out.
Comparison Score(5/10) The vocal performances and lyrics were superior in the ’76 version. Gaga’s finale was superior to Streisand’s failed attempt at rock though.
Kelly Score(10/10) I saw the film with my daughter Kelly and she felt that the story dealt with the question of Ally’s failure to use her platform to say something important. And she found Jackson more sympathetic that I did. Perhaps this is because of the work she’s done with the marginalized in St. Louis. I reconsidered my view and ultimately stuck with my original opinion but this helps me realize it’s just my opinion and many may disagree(certainly most critics who’ve reviewed the film do.)
[ Rabid, Ranting Kansas Fan Font on] One reason the “Say Something” issue bothered me so much is that my favorite group, Kansas, faced the same pressure as they started in the music business. Their albums featured songs running up to 11 minutes in length that were about such topics as the colonization of America, visions of lost spouses, and themes from Herman Hesse novels. Their record company pressured them to write short love songs but they stuck to their guns. Their breakout hit “Carry on Wayward Son” was nearly 5 minutes long and still dealt with profound themes. Ally chickened out. [Rabid, Ranting Kansas Fan Font off]