A Star is Born
Director Bradley Cooper Starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott Running time 156 minutes 15 Certificate 2018
It took me a little while to catch up with this film; I eventually caught up with it on a trip to Riga in Latvia.
A Star is Born is a remake of the classic 1976 version starring Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand, which was in turn a remake of earlier versions, most notably the 1954 version with Judy Garland. The director Bradley Cooper manages to weave subtle references to these previous iconic movies into this 2018 version. Cooper also does a great job as the co-star playing a 'going over the hill' musician with crippling addictions.
Yet the true revelation is Lady Gaga playing the muse to Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine.
It appears that the first-time Cooper saw Gaga perform, she was singing La Vie en Rose. Cooper was so emotionally wrecked from her beautiful rendition that he put the song in the film – letting audiences initially lay eyes on Gaga the same way he did. Gaga is superb from her opening song to the achingly moving love song at the end. There is something beautiful about her role in the film; beautiful voice, believable acting and remarkable chemistry with Bradley Cooper.
Despite the 15 certificate language and occasional nudity, this is a tender love story, wrapped around the account of a fresh new talent being discovered and nurtured. It explores the way addictions tear people apart, reminds us of the power of true love, friendship and commitment, and discloses the brutal realities of life when we cannot find a way to navigate a safe passage.
Christians would do well to watch a film like this carefully; it is a universal story of hope, false trails, love and loss. All life is here; apart from an awareness of the gracious power of a God, who can provide redemption and security.
John Woods is pastor of Lancing Tabernacle