A Star is Born is about an experienced musician (Jack played by Bradley Cooper) that helps a younger singer/actress (Ally played by Lady Gaga) succeed. Jack is an alcoholic and is struggling with his career. The wonderful supporting cast includes: The experienced and talented Sam Elliott as Bobby, Andrew Dice Clay as Lorenzo, Rafi Gavron as Rez Gavron, Anthony Ramos as Ramon, Dave Chappelle as George 'Noodles' Stone, Alec Baldwin as Alec Baldwin, Marlon Williams as Marlon Williams, Brandi Carlile as Brandi Carlile, Ron Rifkin as Carl, Barry Shabaka Henley as Little Feet, Michael D. Roberts as Matty, Michael Harney as Wolfie (as Michael J. Harney) and Rebecca Field as Gail.
There is sounds of shouting, a screaming audience in a rock concert. A famous country rock singer enters the stage (Jack played brilliantly by Bradley Cooper). The first thing you notice is that Bradley Cooper can sing! Wow. This is method acting! It may be him even playing guitar hehe The stadium is packed. He finishes his gig and gets in his limo. He's anxious and drinks alcohol from a bottle. It is clear that he has a drinking problem.
Ally is a novice singer/actress played very well by Lady Gaga who is making a transition to acting with this movie. Ally dumps her boyfriend over the phone. She shouts "f*king men!" out loud hehe. She works for a restaurant. She sings "somewhere over the rainbow" in an alley way, it appears that this woman can sing well. It's a beautiful scene. Jack, still in the Limo, is looking for a bar to hang out in.
He finds an odd bar that does live singing. Ally sings there from time to time. This time she sings "La Vi en Rose". Jack admires her singing. The other singers recognize Jack and he signs some autographs. Jack meets Ally. There is instant chemistry. Excellent dialogue and you now realise the director made great casting choices with the two leads.
You can tell Jack is fascinated by Ally. Cooper and Gaga seem like an odd pairing but boy do they make it work. The other singers tell Jack to get on stage and he sings his hit song "maybe its time to make the old ways die". Cooper can sing real good, I still can't believe it's him. Surprisingly in real life he said that he is new at singing. Cooper's talking voice is also deeper and different to his other roles.
Ally and Jack go to a bar. Ally says that record producers "say my nose is too big". Jack says she has a great nose hehe. "Its a good thing we met" he says. Ally punches another patron who is being rude to Jack hehe. They go to a grocery store and Jack gets a cold packet of vegetables and places it on her injured hand. They sit outside the grocery store and chat. Simple scenes like this make this movie. The dialogue between Ally and Jack never gets boring as there is a lot of chemistry between them. Jack explains that his mother died at child birth. Then his father died later on. His father had a big ranch.
Ally practices a song she wrote. Jack says to her "Can I tell u a secret... I think your a song writer". Just after he drops her home Jack honks the horn and says lovingly "Hey, I just want to take another look at you". These two are in love and it happened very quickly. Ally's father Lorenzo (played by the famous comedian Andrew Dice Clay) makes her feel kind of bad. He reminds her that her voice was great but she didn't have the look. Andrew Dice Clay puts in a subtle great performance. He is believable as Ally's father.
In the stadium Jack is preparing. He has an ear problem that his manager wants to fix by giving him ear plugs. His manager is Bobby who is also his brother is excellently played by Sam Elliot. Ally accepts his offer to visit him in his concert. Jack sings the song that Ally wrote "Tell me something boy... " (the song is called Shallow). Jack invites Ally on stage to finish the song! Ally's voice is powerful, wow. Great memorable lyrics too. In the hotel Jack kisses Ally. "He never brought a girl on stage before" his manager Bobby says to Ally.
That night Jack gets wasted and Bobby puts him on his bed. You realise that his alcohol addiction is serious. He hits the bottle when times are good and bad. Jack and Ally then make love and eat dinner. Ally's dad Lorenzo watches Ally on youtube. Jack visits Ally's house. "I don't feel like this about anyone" she says to him. Jack rides his bike. Ally writes a new song. I love the pace of this film. Sometimes it goes real slow but you appreciate this because it allows you to connect with the characters.
Jack punches Bobby for selling his fathers ranch, it's now a wind farm. "All that old man did was make you his drinking buddy" his manager Bobby says. In a way Bobby blames their father for Jack's obsession with the bottle. Bobby gets emotional and quits.
We see a series of concerts that Jack does and he now regularly invites Ally onstage. Ally sings her new song "when the sun goes down and the band won't play". She also plays piano, Ally is a talented musician. Rez Gamble, a music businessman, wants to produce a record with her. Ally agrees. Jack is kind of jealous and puts a cream dohnut all over her face hehehe. Rez wants to give Ally dancers and she needs to practice coreography.
Jack invites her on a trip but she's busy. Jack does cocaine and passes out. Ally does her first performance. She doesn't use dancers and she doesn't want to colour her hair like Rez suggests. Rez is angry. Jack's friend George (played by Dave chappelle) finds him in the front lawn of his house passed out. Chappelle acts really well here. George says to Jack about life "sometimes you go sailing and land in a port and stay there for a while and forget where you were going in the first place", wonderfully said.
Jack creates a makeshift ring out of a guitar string and proposes to Ally. She agrees and is elated. Ally is nervous about doing the record. As advice Jack says to Ally "You don't tell the truth out there your fucked". There is a big "Ally" poster on a billboard hehe. Ally is getting very popular and is a huge star. She sings at the Saturday Night Live finale. You realise that Ally's songs are different in style to Jack's. Jack's Manager shows up. Jack asks him to go on the road with him again. Rez says that Ally has just been nominated for 3 grammies.
In their house, Jack has been drinking since the morning. Jack is embarrassed of some of Ally's lyrics like "... with an ass like that" hehe. He teases her whilst she's in the bath tub hehe. He's drunk and calls her "ugly". He sobers up and watches her dance in her coreography clas. Jack is havng serious problems with his ear. The "Pretty woman" cover he does in the recording studio is cool! In the live performace of it, he neary misses his cue but he just makes it and plays the rif.
Jack is drunk and gets on stage for Ally's award acceptance at the grammys. It's very embarrasing. He wee's himself on stage. His drinking has gone too far. He goes to an alcoholics anonymous meeting and confesses that hes an alcoholic and a drug addict. He visits a summer house to detox and chill out. "I just want you to be happy" says Ally. Ally unveils some old lyrics he wrote. "I'm sorry I did that" (embarass her at the Grammys). Jack cries. Its an emotional scene because he realises that his alcoholism and his behaviour has gone too far.
Rez tells Ally that he's not going on tour with Jack. He's not allowing it. Jack meets with his manager/brother Bobby. He loves Bobby and says "I took your voice... I looked up to you". It was a great moment. Jack cries. Rez is extremely angry at Jack. He says he nearly derailed Ally's career. Jack is jolted at this speech and thinks about what he said.
Jack goes out drinking again. Then drives back to the house. I won't tell you how the movie ends. But I will say that through out the whole film there is the underlying message that fame and alcohol addiction aren't a good mix. Of course it is also a very pleasant love story too.
"Bradley Cooper is an A grade actor. He has created some wonderful characters through out his career. His singing surprised me in this film. Lady Gaga puts in a solid performance. She can definitely act and worked well with the material given. But it was the chemistry between the two leads that this film will be remembered for"Sam Elliot as Bobby also puts in an elegant performance and his dialogue with Bradley Cooper is memorable. What an entertaining 2hrs 16min.