A STAR IS BORN – Bradley Cooper’s Career Defining Movie

Tomorrow morning, Thursday October 18th, A STAR IS BORN is going to hit the big screen in Australia. And you want to be there in the next couple of weeks to see Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut on the biggest loudest cinema screen you can find. Cooper and Gaga have musical talent that will light up your ears and make you buy the soundtrack as soon as you walk out. And this is a movie to take your girlfriend, mother or grandmother too and most importantly take the tissues!

This version of A STAR IS BORN is released by Roadshow Pictures in conjunction with Warner Bros Pictures. It is rated M and runs for 136mins.


A Star is Born Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga image
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga



Seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discover, and falls in love with, struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.


A Star is Born Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga image
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper



Everyone is raving about it and with good cause, A STAR IS BORN is a sublime biopic of sorts. Bradley Cooper’s telling of the story is the fourth version of this film and the third remake. The original came out in 1937 and starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Then in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. It’s a lot of remakes and Warner Bros had been trying to get it off the ground for the last five or so years.

Spielberg was attached to direct at one stage and so was Clint Eastwood. At one stage Beyonce was going to star and so was Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith. But THANK THE GODS we ended up with the combination we got because it is genuine, it is heartwarming and we all get to see Bradley Cooper sing, and he is bloody sublime. I am still in shock his singing was as good as Gaga in a few performances. It is a cinematic chemistry coup and the world needs to see it.


While the chemistry is superb, the songs amazing, cinematography applause-worthy and story sound A STAR IS BORN is not cinematic perfection. The pacing suffers in the middle where the story wallowed for 15mins or so and the other part that got to me was the drug angle, it’s been done to death. Standard drug movie cliche; guy or girl meets girl or guy, both awesome, one or both of them has a drug issue, issue gets worse, the couple combined makes the issue even worse – good or bad outcome. Is this just me? Am I so desensitized I was unimpressed by the addiction? I was like “ok rockstar, you have a substance issue, don’t you all?”

But I will give it points for the depression angle. I suffered depression and anxiety in the past and I was watching my mental illness on screen. It was managed with respect and authenticity, the bursting into tears, the unimaginable shame. Well done to Cooper and his many hats on this film for achieving that result.

The final thing that I didn’t like was the Ally trajectory. Ally blossoms from singing from her heart with Jack. It is mostly popular country music they sing and it’s good. Her journey leads her to singing bad pop songs. I know it is pivotal to the plot that Cooper is delivering. It is this shite pop music with no heart that ultimately begins the darker path of Jack but I just cringe seeing Gaga sing bad songs, I thought she was incapable but it is not so. It hurt my ears and made me a little depressed myself and this is the entire point! I just wished Jack’s depression came from how good Ally became in the world and not how bad.


A Star is Born Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott image
Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott



Hear me out, Ally is a poor struggling middle to lower class girl who is swept off her feet by a famous and awe inspiring individual who has many demons. He hopes she can be his saviour and the world can be perfection. He dreams of what life can be but his demons get in the way when she is tempted and tainted by the world around her. And so we enter the Frankenstein element. The cause for Jack’s depression and downfall stem from his somewhat creation, his protege, Ally, who gets a taste for the world, is tempted by the reality of the modern world and this destroys his heart and breaks his soul.

As soon as the monster comes to life, Victor is filled with intense revulsion. He explains, “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.”

That quote is from Shelley’s Frankenstein but it reads true. The disgust that filled his heart was depression and substance abuse was his coping mechanism. Being so deeply in love with his somewhat disappointing “creation” tears him apart fuelling his shame and guilt. He becomes the monster himself taking it away from her and creating a path of destruction.


Bradley Cooper is a Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, James Hetfiled combo but more mellow and country. Most of his singing scenes are filmed at real music festivals and my jaw was on the cinema floor at how sublimely talented he is. I do believe he has a foot in the direction of an oscar.

Gaga is a natural, I mean, she could cry out in agony and it would still be melodic. She takes to the acting with aplomb and the world needs more of her in movies. There was only one crying scene she had that I realised she was acting and the scene could have had another take. But top marks to both the leads

Sam Elliott is a cinematic hero of mine – the man is 74yrs old and still smoking hot. His tonal bassy hypnotic voice is only matched by the single most perfect moustache on the face of planet earth, and seeing him cry was both beautiful and heartbreaking.

And final mention to Rafi Gavron as Ally’s commercial manager, (who has the same surname) Rez Gavron. He is the polar opposite of Cooper’s Jack. Jack is long haired and grunge, a soul singer. Rez is a producer who is manicured to the last follicle and is in the music to turn huge amounts of money by making synthetic pop princesses who will fade into obscurity. He would be the devil if this was a religious movie. I mean I have gone Beauty and the Beast and Frankenstein so why not?


A Star is Born Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga image
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga



Believe the hype, it wasn’t Russian hackers telling the world VENOM was shit and A STAR IS BORN was awesome. This is real, it is truth and my name isn’t Vladimir Popcorn. A STAR IS BORN is worth it alone for Bradley Cooper singing, his performance and partnership with one of the most vocally talented people to walk the earth is all bonus.





 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.