If you’re one of the many, many people who enjoyed watching Bradley Cooper stroke Lady Gaga’s nose in A Star Is Born over the weekend, you’re in luck. Chances are, we’re all going to be seeing a lot more of the duo over the coming months. The movie has already broken box-office records, taking in a domestic gross of $41.3 million — a huge number for a Hollywood musical on remake number four. According to the New York Times, the film itself cost about $36 million to make, which means that going forward, every dollar that comes in is pure profit.
A Star Is Born had some big shoes to fill (two words: Judy. Garland.), and even bigger expectations to surpass (that trailer is itself a masterpiece), and so far, it’s done all that and more. The film currently holds an A grade in Cinemascore, and a 91% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Evidently, the love story between Jackson Maine (Cooper), an alcoholic rock star whose career is waning, and Ally (Lady Gaga), the angel-voiced ingenue he discovers after stumbling into the drag bar she’s performing in, has struck a chord. The question now is whether or not we’ll be calling Bradley Cooper an Oscar-winning filmmaker come February.
At this point, it seems almost impossible that A Star Is Born won’t be a leading awards season contender. It’s a crowd-pleaser, has the critical backing to be taken seriously, and Hollywood loves a story about the perils of fame. Still, it’s early days yet. In December 2016, La La Land seemed a shoo-in for the golden statue, and then, well, Moonlight happened. (In an ironic turn of events, Barry Jenkins’ latest film, If Beale Street Could Talk, is almost certainly going to be in the running against A Star Is Born, along with Damien Chazelle’s La La Land follow-up, First Man.) Many films that will very probably be considered haven’t even screened yet, including Vice, On The Basis Of Sex, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bohemian Rhapsody. (And as a result, some of this speculation is just a series wild guesses based on hype and hearsay.)
Nevertheless, bringing home the Oscar would be momentous for a film that, over the years, has been nominated multiple times in its different iterations but never won. Could Lady Gaga rectify Judy Garland’s egregious 1955 snub? Is it even worth holding a Best Original Song competition when you have “Shallow” in the running? Can we create a special award for Best Dog to honour Bradley Cooper’s pooch Charlie? Let’s break down A Star Is Born’s chances in 2019.