|Scene from A Star is Born|
To an extent, A Star is Born may be Hollywood's favorite franchise. So it hasn't necessarily spawned sequels, but every remake feels indicative of an era of celebrity whether it be the William A. Wellman original, the Judy Garland career best, or strange Barbara Streisand take. It has always been there as a source of inspiration and has now hit actor Bradley Cooper hard enough to make his own adaptation, co-starring Lady GaGa. There's been speculation of its greatness thanks to actors like Sean Penn touting its greatness, but today marks the first moment that the world gets to see any footage of it. The first trailer has dropped, and it's kind of what you'd expect from an emotional, personal journey into fame.
I am not sure what inspires filmmakers to remake A Star is Born, of all movies, so frequently. It should come across as pandering claptrap of how celebrities have it hard. The only real answer is that some see it as autobiographical, such as the Judy Garland one of the 1950's where she played a loose interpretation of her own career. It takes a high level celebrity to pull off a performance that at least feels believably earnest. So the question is this: why Bradley Cooper? He's a fine actor, but not necessarily on the level of Garland or Streisand. Time will tell, but it does seem likely that this is meant more for a chance to see Lady GaGa be taken seriously as an actress.
As a longtime follower of her career, I am excited to see what she does. With that said, I don't necessarily have faith that she's a great actress who could pull off a film like this. Most of her work in the time leading up has been adequate genre work, or a very brief cameo on The Sopranos. How is she going to translate to a more traditional drama? Or is that the the thing with A Star is Born? It's not about how great they can act, but more about how they can bring something personal and earnest to the performance. It would be strange to think that Lady GaGa could have a similar story to tell as that of Garland, but then again the idea of fame has changed. Maybe it will be updated in a significant way.
Check out the trailer below:
Looks pretty good. Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
A movie star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
All things considered, it looks better than one could hope for from a first time filmmaker. Considering how well A Star is Born has played at the Oscars in the past, it is exciting to think that this could be a new take for a new generation. Will this see Lady GaGa get her first acting nomination, or even earn Cooper some love as a filmmaker? There's a lot to ponder over, but at least the first trailer has all of the effective highs and lows that one would expect from a remake of A Star is Born in 2018. Here's hoping that it's one of the highlights of this Fall season.