Movies Can Enhance Your Life –
Sept. 10, 2018 – Prerelease hype often consumes a movie before it’s even out in theaters. Trailer speculation, plot rumors, and awards-season predictions all help fuel the film-journalism industry. But even by that yardstick, the groundswell of interest in A Star Is Born, a rock musical starring Lady Gaga that’s also Bradley Cooper’s debut as a writer and director, has been fascinating to behold. It’s rare that Hollywood churns out an “event” picture that isn’t about superheroes or Star Wars these days—it’s rarer still for such a movie to be a heavy, R-rated drama about alcoholism and drug abuse that’s a remake of a classic from film’s golden age.
Still, with the June release of A Star Is Born’s trailer, the anticipation started to build. There was Cooper, his voice as leathery and worn as his face, growling, “All you gotta do is trust me,” as if speaking directly to the audience. More importantly, there was Lady Gaga, wailing original songs with passion into the microphone, promising the kind of genuine powerhouse performance that musicians often struggle to give onscreen. At its August 31 premiere at the Venice Film Festival, A Star Is Born drew raves, and it’s doing the same at the Toronto International Film Festival. The hype is well deserved for this one—Cooper has managed to mine something new about the glory and misery of celebrity from one of cinema’s stalest narratives.