ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An Old Voice Finds A New Voice: A Star Is Born

Updated on October 20, 2018


A Star Is Born updates a story that has been told many times before (including the 1932 film What Price Hollywood?, which some contend served as a basis for the 1937 movie, as well as the 2013 Indian movie Aashiqui 2). In the fourth A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper stars as Jackson Maine, a hard-living, hard-drinking singer who doesn't always enjoy his success. After a concert, Jackson instructs his limo driver to take him someplace that serves drinks. He takes the singer to a bar on drag night, where he becomes impressed by Ally (Lady Gaga), a restaurant worker who once worked at this bar, thereby letting her perform on such a night. She wows the crowd, especially Jackson, who gets a word with her. He learns she writes her own material, and decides he's going to add one of her songs to his set. Jackson invites her to his next show, and eventually coaxes her onstage. She soon gets to sing more of her songs with the band, which gets the attention of Rez (Rafi Gavron), who takes charge of a career where Ally is the star.

The two remain close, but Rez takes Ally's career in a more pop-oriented direction. Without Ally on the road, Jackson goes back to heavy substance use. He also ignores his issues with hearing loss, in spite of criticism from his manager and half-brother, Bobby (Sam Elliott). One day, after missing a concert of Ally's, he finds himself in the yard of his old friend George "Noodles" Stone (Dave Chappelle), who used to be on the road as much as Jackson. Ally is eventually contacted, and comes off the road for him. In spite of his drinking issues, she marries him that day. After that, Jackson checks into rehab as Ally resumes her tour. When he's released, Rez wants the Grammy-nominated Ally to go on a tour that includes Europe. When she balks at this extended tour, Rez has some words with Jackson.


A Star Is Born, as a title, has a history dating back over eight decades. William Wellman filmed his version in 1937, and my favorite among the ones I've seen is the one George Cukor directed starring Judy Garland in 1954. Wellman won an Oscar for his writing on his film. Other famed writers who've had a hand in the story over the years include Dorothy Parker, Moss Hart, and Joan Didion. Cooper holds his own on both fronts in his debut as both a director and scenarist, sharing writing credit with Will Fetters and Oscar winner Eric Roth. The one problem I have with the script is that it doesn't do well explaining why Jackson and his camp didn't do more to immediately bring Ally under their management. I know the writers stuck with the basic story and its main conflict, but they needed a better way to bring Rez into this conflict. Still, Cooper crafts a compelling love story about two people who needed and deserved some kind of good break.

Before this movie, Cooper had not distinguished himself as a singer, and Lady Gaga had not distinguished herself as an actress. These leads show they can handle singing and acting well, which enhances the credibility of the performances. Cooper, as Jackson, still makes his shows, but his issues make him dangerous. He makes a living based on past success. Meeting Ally ignites a creative spark that had been going through the motions. In spite of that, Jackson often doesn't do what's best for Jackson. Lady Gaga, As Ally, shows that she's heard the excuses from music executives about her ability, making her tentative about her talent. Her performance of "La Vie En Rose" shows that others foolishly failed to look past an appearance they felt wasn't fitting of a potential singing star. As she learns about Jackson and his problems, she never fails to be anything but loving and devoted. Elliott, Gavron, and Chappelle offer fine support, as does Andrew Dice Clay as Ally's supportive father, Lorenzo. Singers Halsey, Marlon Williams, and Brandi Carlile make cameo appearances, as does Alec Baldwin. Lukas Nelson (son of Willie) and his band, Promise Of The Real, play the members of Jackson's band.


Before remakes hit the theaters, I usually wonder why someone would want to remake a film that has been critically successful in the past. A Star Is Born is one of those films, though, that can change with the times. When the story has focused on a rising singer, a singing star of the era has stepped into the lead role. In Cooper's hands, one singer shows she can defy the industry's expectations of image, while the other shows he still has something for his fans. This version sticks to the basic story and packs it with plenty of emotion and music. Both Cooper and Lady Gaga add a new dimension to their careers as they show that some truths in the entertainment industry never change.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give A Star Is Born 3.5 stars. Cooper goes Gaga for Ally.

A Star Is Born trailer

© 2018 Pat Mills


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)