Lady Gaga’s Film Debut, A Star Is Born, Is Already Stunning Critics

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.
Lady Gaga is good! The pop star's first official film has thus far been receiving good reviews. This is only surprising because of the film's rocky trajectory and high-profile talent. After years of reports and rumors, A Star is Born looked like a movie that might stink of too many cooks in the kitchen. Plus, it's Bradley Cooper's auteur debut. There's a lot of pressure for this movie to be good.
The trailer debuted at CinemaCon last night, and IndieWire — as well as a number of film reporters and writers on Twitter — reports that prospects look good. Brooks Barnes, a New York Times Hollywood beat reporter, wrote that the trailer gave him "goosebumps." Similarly, LA Times writer Amy Kaufman wrote that the trailer made her cry. MTV News entertainment editor Cyrstal Bell claimed that Cooper and Gaga had "crazy chemistry" and the movie looked "radically intimate." And this is all just from the trailer.
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A Star Is Born has a high pedigree. The movie has been remade twice: first in 1954, and again in 1976. Each time the story made the rounds, it earned an Oscar. The story is familiar, too. In it, a woman, first played by Janet Gaynor and later by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, rises to fame while her famous husband experiences a drastic fall from grace. It's a tale of love and ego not unlike 2016's La La Land, and it has a habit of propping up the biggest star at the time. At this point, A Star is Born is archetypal. It's beloved, and it's familiar — and, if Gaga is lucky, this new version will also get Academy attention.
The 2018 iteration of A Star Is Born was first announced in 2011 with Clint Eastwood at the helm. Due to casting turmoil — Beyoncé joined the cast at first, but departed after her first pregnancy — production was delayed several years. Eventually, Bradley Cooper joined the project as director and star. In 2017, the movie finally started filming with Lady Gaga in the lead role. And even then, production seemed plagued by scheduling troubles. A Star Is Born was first scheduled to debut in May before the premiere date moved to September, and then finally to October of 2018, where it's sitting pretty for this year's Oscars season. Cooper will reportedly sing in the film, as will Gaga, who plays the titular star. A Star is Born, we're counting on you!
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