Remakes are tricky. Usually they’re messy sloppy copies, rushed, with nothing new to say, no reason to exist beyond vanity and admiration.
But sometimes, magically, a remake says something new, takes a framework we know and hangs different things on it. But the frame is still there, familiar and warm, reminding you that you know this one. You know where it hits, where it hurts, how it bleeds.
A Star Is Born is the second kind. Instantly familiar, Bradley Cooper never loses sight of the fact that he’s telling one of the oldest stories in Hollywood. Revisiting his predecessors in ways both small and large. Whether it’s Ally crooning “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” to warm up, to the song, “Shallow,” which feels especially on the nose (for a story that previously featured suicide by walking into the ocean) and Ally’s final declaration, “My name is Ally Maine.”
Cooper’s direction and performance are stirring, as are supporting turns by Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay (Huh?) and Anthony Ramos (YAASSS!) but this movie was always going to rise or fall based on Lady Gaga’s performance, so thank God she’s a complete revelation.
Ally is all insecurity and striving, shy smiles and stuttered words, but my lord that voice. It’s a wonderful take on a part played by legends before, and she’s well on her way to cementing herself there.
But the movie’s thesis statement about music and stories is summed up in the truly epic closing monologue delivered by Elliott.
Mary Poppins Returns really does look wonderful. I can’t wait to see it and then watch it a million times over.
The Frontrunner: Any other year I’d be all over this movie, this year, I’m too tired for political drama. I’m even behind on my West Wing watching.
Green Book: Y’all, I know it’s a mushy dumb, tropey movie (probably) but seriously, it’s Viggo Mortensen & Mahershala Ali (with Linda Cardellini in there for good measure)
The Mule again.
Instant Family – I get the feeling I’m going to love this movie. Like, really love it.
- The Incredibles 2
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- A Star Is Born
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Deadpool 2
- Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
- Ocean’s 8
- Infinity War
- Ant-Man And The Wasp