A Star Is Born (2018 film)

A Star Is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film produced and directed by Bradley Cooper (in his directorial debut) and written by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters. A remake of the 1937 film of the same name, it stars Cooper, Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay, and Sam Elliott, and follows a hard-drinking musician (Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a young singer (Gaga). It marks the third remake of the original 1937 film, after the 1954 musical and the 1976 musical.

Talks of a remake of A Star Is Born began in 2011, with Clint Eastwood attached to direct and Beyoncé set to star. The film was in development hell for several years with various actors approached to co-star, including Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, and Tom Cruise. In March 2016, Cooper signed on to star and direct, and Lady Gaga joined the cast in August 2016. Principal photography began at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2017.

A Star Is Born premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018, by Warner Bros. The film has grossed over $433 million worldwide and received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper, Gaga, and Elliott's performances and Cooper's direction, as well as the screenplay, cinematography and music. It was chosen by both the National Board of Review and American Film Institute as one of the Top 10 Films of 2018. The film received numerous accolades, including eight nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, among them Best Picture, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga) and Best Supporting Actor (Elliott), and won for Best Original Song ("Shallow"). It also earned five nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, winning Best Original Song for Gaga's "Shallow".

A Star Is Born
A Star is Born
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBradley Cooper
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onA Star Is Born
by William A. Wellman
Robert Carson
Dorothy Parker
Alan Campbell
Starring
CinematographyMatthew Libatique[1]
Edited byJay Cassidy[1]
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[4]
Release date
  • August 31, 2018 (Venice)
  • October 5, 2018 (United States)
Running time
136 minutes[5]
CountryUnited States
Budget$36–40 million[6][7]
Box office$433.5 million[8]

Plot

Jackson "Jack" Maine, a famous country music singer privately battling an alcohol and drug addiction, plays a concert in California. His main support is Bobby, his manager and older half-brother. After the show, Jack visits a drag bar where he witnesses a performance by Ally, a waitress and singer-songwriter. Jack is amazed by her performance, and they spend the night talking to each other, where Ally discloses to him the troubles she has faced in pursuing a professional music career.

Jack invites Ally to his next show. Despite her initial refusal she attends and, with Jack's encouragement, sings on stage with him. Jack invites Ally to go on tour with him, and they form a romantic relationship. In Arizona, Ally and Jack visit the ranch where Jack grew up and where his father is buried, only to discover that Bobby sold the land. Angered at his betrayal, Jack punches Bobby, who subsequently quits as his manager. Before doing so, Bobby reveals that he did inform Jack about the sale, but the latter was too inebriated to notice.

While on tour Ally meets Rez, a record producer who offers her a contract. Although visibly bothered, Jack still supports her decision. Rez refocuses Ally away from country music and towards pop. Jack misses one of Ally's performances after he passes out drunk in public; he recovers at the home of his best friend George "Noodles" Stone, and later makes up with Ally. There he proposes to Ally with an impromptu ring made from a loop of guitar string, and they are married that same day at a church ministered by a relative of Noodles.

During Ally's performance on Saturday Night Live, Bobby reconciles with Jack. Later, Jack and Ally fight after he drunkenly voices his disapproval of Ally's new image and music, which is nominated for three Grammy Awards. At the Grammys, a visibly intoxicated Jack performs in a tribute to Roy Orbison, and Ally wins the Best New Artist award. When she goes up on stage to receive her award, Jack follows her, where he wets himself and passes out. Ally's father Lorenzo berates Jack and Ally helps him sober up. Jack joins a rehabilitation program shortly thereafter.

Jack recovers in rehab for about two months, where he discloses to his counselor that he attempted suicide when he was 13 years old. He also mentions that he has tinnitus, which has been getting worse. He tearfully apologizes to Ally for his behavior, and returns home. Ally wishes to bring Jack to perform with her on the European leg of her tour; Rez refuses, prompting Ally to cancel the remainder of the tour so she can care for Jack.

Rez later confronts Jack, accusing him of holding Ally back. That evening, Ally lies to Jack, and tells him that her record label has cancelled her tour so she can focus on her second album. Jack promises that he will come to her concert that night, but after Ally leaves, he hangs himself in their garage.

Ally becomes inconsolable after Jack's death. She is visited by Bobby, who explains Jack's death was Jack's own fault and not hers. Ally takes a song that Jack had written but never performed and sings it at a tribute concert, introducing herself as Ally Maine.

Cast

  • Lady Gaga as Ally Maine, a singer-songwriter who is discovered by Jack.
  • Bradley Cooper as Jackson "Jack" Maine, an established singer-songwriter and alcoholic. He is Ally's mentor and love interest.
  • Sam Elliott as Bobby Maine, Jack's older half-brother and manager.
  • Dave Chappelle as George "Noodles" Stone, Jack's best friend, himself a retired musician.
  • Andrew Dice Clay as Lorenzo Campana, Ally's father.
  • Anthony Ramos as Ramon, Ally's friend.
  • Rafi Gavron as Rez Gavron, a music producer and Ally's manager.
  • Greg Grunberg as Phil, Jackson's driver.

Additionally, Shangela Laquifa Wadley appears as the drag bar emcee, Willam Belli as drag queen Emerald, and Ron Rifkin as Carl. Rebecca Field portrays Gail, while Michael Harney portrays Wolfie, a friend of Lorenzo. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real appear as Jackson's band, Eddie Griffin appears as a local preacher and Luenell appears as a cashier. Marlon Williams, Brandi Carlile, Halsey, Alec Baldwin, and Don Roy King cameo as themselves.

Production

Development

In January 2011, it was announced that Clint Eastwood was in talks to direct Beyoncé in a third American remake of the 1937 film A Star Is Born; however, the project was delayed due to Beyoncé's pregnancy.[9] In April 2012, writer Will Fetters told Collider that the script was inspired by Kurt Cobain.[10] Talks with Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith to play the male lead failed to come to fruition. On October 9, 2012, Beyoncé left the project, and it was reported that Bradley Cooper was in talks to star. Eastwood was interested in Esperanza Spalding to play the female lead.[11]

On March 24, 2015, Warner Bros. announced that Cooper was in final talks to make his directorial debut with the film, and potentially to star with Beyoncé, who was again in talks to join;[12] Cooper did become the male lead.[13][14][15] On August 16, 2016, it was reported that Lady Gaga had officially become attached and the studio had green-lit the project to begin production early 2017.[16] It marks the third remake of the original 1937 film, after the 1954 musical and 1976 rock musical. Furthermore, the 2013 Bollywood romance film, Aashiqui 2, was inspired by "A Star is Born", but was not a remake.[17] On November 9, 2016, it was reported that Ray Liotta was in talks to join the film in the role of the manager to Cooper's character, though he ultimately was not involved.[18] On March 17, 2017, Sam Elliott joined the film,[19] with Andrew Dice Clay entering negotiations to play Lorenzo, the father of Lady Gaga's character.[20] Clay was selected over Robert De Niro, John Turturro and John Travolta.[21] In April 2017, Rafi Gavron, Michael Harney, and Rebecca Field also joined the cast.[22]

Filming began on April 17, 2017.[1] In May, Dave Chappelle was cast in the film.[23] In April 2018, it was announced that Halsey would have a small role.[24]

Music

After seeing him perform at Desert Trip festival, Cooper approached Lukas Nelson (son of country music singer Willie Nelson) and asked him to help work on the film. Nelson agreed and wrote several songs, which he sent to the producers.[25] Nelson subsequently met Lady Gaga and began writing songs with her and she, in turn, provided backing vocals on two tracks on his self-titled 2017 album.[26] The soundtrack, performed by Gaga and Cooper, was released on October 5, 2018, by Interscope Records. The studio announced that the album "features 19 songs in a wide range of musical styles + 15 dialogue tracks that will take you on a journey that mirrors the experience of seeing the film."[27]

Release

Theatrical

A Star Is Born had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2018.[28][29] It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival,[30] the San Sebastián International Film Festival, and the Zurich Film Festival in September 2018.[31][32] The film was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018,[33] distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, after initially having been set for September 28, 2018, and May 18, 2018, releases.[34][35] From December 7, 2018, the film had a limited release in IMAX theaters across United States and Canada. Jeff Goldstein, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, said, "Securing premium IMAX screens in this competitive holiday window, ten weeks into release, speaks to the quality of the film Bradley Cooper has delivered and the passion audiences have for this story. We are thrilled to be able to give moviegoers a chance to see 'A Star Is Born' again, or for the first time, in such an experiential format as IMAX."[36] On February 28, 2019, the film was re-released in more than 1,150 US theaters with an extra 12 minutes of additional footage. Named as the special "encore" edition, it contained extended performances of songs like "Black Eyes" and "Alibi" from the soundtrack, an a cappella performance of "Shallow" by Gaga as well as her singing "Is That Alright?" during the wedding sequence of Ally and Jack. Extra footage also contained Cooper singing "Too Far Gone" in a recording studio, and Jack and Ally writing a song titled "Clover" together.[37]

Home media

Warner Bros. announced that the film would be available for digital download through retailers on January 15, 2019, followed by its release on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 19. The home video release will feature 10 minutes of never-before-seen musical performances by Cooper and Gaga, and jam recording sessions of songs like "Midnight Special", "Is That Alright?" and "Baby What You Want Me to Do".[38] A behind-the-scenes feature called The Road to Stardom: Making A Star Is Born would also be included along with the music videos for songs from the soundtrack: "Shallow", "Always Remember Us This Way", "Look What I Found" and "I'll Never Love Again".[39] The 4K Blu-ray format will have Dolby Vision high-dynamic-range video and Dolby Atmos sound which was remixed and tailored specifically for home environment viewing.[40]

Reception

Box office

As of March 21, 2019, A Star Is Born has grossed $215.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $218.3 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $433.5 million, against a production budget of $36–40 million.[8]

In the United States and Canada, A Star Is Born grossed $1.35 million from select Tuesday and Wednesday night screenings, and $15.8 million on its first day, including $3.2 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $42.9 million for the weekend and finished second at the box office, behind fellow newcomer Venom.[7] The film remained in second place in its second, third and fourth weekends, grossing a respective $28 million, $19.3 million and $14.1 million.[41][42][43] In the film's 10th weekend of release, following the announcement of its five Golden Globe nominations, the film made $2.5 million (up 38% from the previous week), including $800,000 from a limited IMAX run.[44] In the film's 17th week of release, following its eight Oscar nominations, it was added back to an additional 777 theaters (for a total of 1,192) and made $1.3 million, an increase of 107% from the previous weekend.[45] The weekend following its Best Original Song win at the Oscars, the film was added to 490 theaters (for a total of 1,235) and made $1.9 million, a 209% increase from the previous weekend.[46]

Outside North America, the film was released day-and-date with the U.S. in 31 other countries, and made $14.2 million in its opening weekend; its largest markets were the United Kingdom ($5.3 million), France ($2.1 million) and Germany ($1.9 million).[47]

Critical response

The performances of Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Sam Elliott (seen during the film's screening at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival), as well as Cooper's direction, garnered critical acclaim.[48][49]

Bradley Cooper (29670050807) (cropped 2)
Star Is Born 04 (44027219335) (cropped)
TIFF 2018 Samuel Elliott (44592132581) (cropped)

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, A Star Is Born holds an approval rating of 89% based on 468 reviews, with an average rating of 8.04/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "With appealing leads, deft direction, and an affecting love story, A Star Is Born is a remake done right—and a reminder that some stories can be just as effective in the retelling."[50] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100, based on 60 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[51] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale,[52] while PostTrak reported film-goers gave it a 90% positive score.[7]

Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a positive review, saying, "Cooper and Lady Gaga are dynamite together; this is a story that lives and dies by the central relationship and the instant chemistry that must blossom between them, and these two have it in spades," and praised the musical numbers, describing them as "electrifying".[53] Owen Gleiberman of Variety lauded Cooper's directing, co-writing, and acting, and called the film "a transcendent Hollywood movie".[54] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, singling out Gaga's performance, saying, "she deserves praise for her restrained, human-scale performance as a singer whose real-girl vulnerability feels miles away from the glittery meat-dress delirium of her own stage persona."[48] Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine found the film superior to its previous iterations and similarly praised Cooper's direction, the writing, as well the performances and chemistry of Cooper and Gaga. She stated: "You come away feeling something for these people, flawed individuals who are trying to hold their cracked pieces of self together—or to mend the cracks of those they love," also describing Gaga's performance as a "knockout."[55]

In his review for Los Angeles Times, Justin Chang called the film "remarkable," and praised Cooper for his fresh take on the well-worn formula of 1937 film, as well his direction, the performances, writing, and the cinematography.[49] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 4.5 out of five stars, and deemed it as a "modern classic," hailing the performances of Cooper and Gaga, and Cooper's direction. He found the film's screenplay and the original songs "seamless" and "terrific," and also called the film a major Oscar contender of the year and one of the year's best films.[56] The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday described the film as "lavishly delightful" and "earthly convincing," and added that it "offers a suitably jaundiced glimpse of starmaking machinery at its most cynical, but also its most thrilling and gratifying." She similarly praised Cooper's direction, the performances and chemistry of Cooper and Gaga, and the supporting performances, particularly Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Elliott.[57] Writing for Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper described it as "electric and shatteringly powerful" and remarked the film as one of the best iterations to its 1937, 1954, and the 1976 versions as well one of the best movies of the year.[58]

While praising the direction, acting, and writing, Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune argues that a A Star is Born's formula has always been very seductive to audiences, even when it has been written poorly, and Cooper's few missteps include being a bit of a scene hog.[59] Admitting audiences love it, and he just liked it, Phillips drew attention to a skeptical review by Lindsey Romaine of Medium.com who criticized the story's marginalization of the Gaga character in dealing with Cooper's manipulative addict. She at least wanted a scene where Gaga's character processed her behavior of letting the addict boyfriend get away with it. Phillips argued that it is in part the skillful musicianship which gets audiences to blow past such flaws.[60]

Accolades

The film has won a number of awards and nominations. It was chosen by both the National Board of Review and American Film Institute as one of the Top 10 Films of 2018.[61][62] The film received five nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama,[63] and 8 nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[64]

See also

References

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External links

A Star Is Born (2018 soundtrack)

A Star Is Born is the soundtrack album to the 2018 musical film of the same name, performed by its stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. It was released on October 5, 2018, by Interscope Records. Gaga and Cooper collaborated on the soundtrack album with an assortment of country musicians, including Lukas Nelson, who also stars in the film as a member of Cooper's band. For the more pop-oriented songs on the soundtrack, Gaga teamed up with recurring collaborator DJ White Shadow. The soundtrack also includes contributions from Jason Isbell, Mark Ronson, Diane Warren, and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. Commercially, it has topped the charts in more than 15 countries, attaining gold and platinum certifications from many of them, while selling over four million copies worldwide. The tracks "Shallow" and "Always Remember Us This Way" have been released as singles.

Black Eyes (Bradley Cooper song)

"Black Eyes" is a song from the 2018 film A Star Is Born and soundtrack of the same name, performed by Bradley Cooper. It was written by Cooper and Lukas Nelson, and produced by Cooper, Nelson and Lady Gaga.

Is That Alright?

"Is That Alright?" is a song from the 2018 film A Star Is Born and soundtrack of the same name, performed by Lady Gaga. It was written and produced by Lady Gaga, Mark Nilan Jr., Nick Monson, and Paul "DJWS" Blair with additional writing from Aaron Raitiere.

List of accolades received by A Star Is Born (2018 film)

A Star Is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film produced and directed by Bradley Cooper (in his directorial debut) and written by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters. A remake of the 1937 film of the same name, it stars Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, and Sam Elliott, and follows a hard-drinking musician (Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a young singer (Gaga). It marks the fourth remake of the original 1937 film, after the 1954 musical, the 1976 musical and the 2013 Bollywood romance film.The film has grossed over $430 million worldwide and received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper, Gaga and Elliott's performances and Cooper's direction, as well as the screenplay, cinematography and music. Both the American Film Institute and National Board of Review chose it as one of their top ten best films of 2018. The film also won three more accolades from the National Board of Review, including Best Director (Cooper), Best Actress (Gaga) and Best Supporting Actor (Elliott). It received five nominations at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, winning Best Original Song for Gaga's "Shallow". At the Critics' Choice Movie Award, Gaga won the categories of Best Song (for "Shallow") and Best Actress. A Star Is Born received seven nominations at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards, five of them in different categories for Cooper, which was unprecedented in the award's history.

Look What I Found

"Look What I Found" is a song from the 2018 film A Star Is Born and soundtrack of the same name, performed by Lady Gaga. It was written by Gaga, Aaron Raitiere, Mark Nilan Jr., Nick Monson, DJ White Shadow and Lukas Nelson, and produced by Gaga, Nilan, Monson and Shadow.

Masonic Temple (Toronto)

The Masonic Temple is a hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located on the north-west corner of Davenport Road and Yonge Street.

Maybe It's Time

"Maybe It's Time" is a song from the 2018 film A Star Is Born and soundtrack of the same name, performed by Bradley Cooper. It was written by Jason Isbell and produced by Cooper and Benjamin Rice with additional vocal production from Lady Gaga. "Maybe It's Time" has received a positive critical reception and became Cooper's first solo chart entry on the Billboard Hot 100.

Pilotdrift

Pilotdrift is an American experimental rock band formed in Texarkana, Texas. Their sound has been described as an experimental mixing bowl, with ingredients including space rock, cinematic orchestral music, jazz, psychedelic rock, dark n' dusty westerns, future pop, spoken word, electro-indie, folk etc. They have toured the U.S and Canada with the likes of The Polyphonic Spree, Supergrass, Eisley, Midlake, and Guster as well as played shows with The Album Leaf, Jon Brion, Devotchka, Akron Family, Angels of Light, Dios (Malos) and more. They have also had their music featured in TV shows like TLC's Deadliest Catch and The Messengers.

Shallow (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper song)

"Shallow" is a song performed by American singer Lady Gaga and American actor and filmmaker Bradley Cooper. It was released on September 27, 2018, by Interscope Records as the lead single from the soundtrack of the 2018 film, A Star Is Born (2018). "Shallow" was written by Gaga with Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson, and produced by Gaga with Benjamin Rice. The song is heard three times throughout the film, most prominently during a sequence when Cooper's character Jackson Maine invites Gaga's character Ally to perform it onstage with him. The scene was filmed in front of a live audience at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.

"Shallow" is a pivotal moment in A Star Is Born, since it speaks about Ally and Jackson's conversations. Gaga wrote it from Ally's point of view with the self-aware lyrics asking each other if they are content being who they are. A country and folk pop power ballad, "Shallow" finds Gaga and Cooper trading verses and gradually moves toward the final chorus with a vocal run by Gaga. The recording is interspersed with the sound of audience noise and applause. Gaga premiered it on DJ Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show while giving an interview about the film. An accompanying music video was also released, showing Gaga and Cooper singing "Shallow" onstage, interspersed with scenes from A Star Is Born.

The track received acclaim from music critics who praised Gaga's vocals, the dramatic nature of the composition and the songwriting while feeling it worthy of award nominations. Commercially, the song topped the record charts in more than a dozen countries, including the US Billboard Hot 100, and reached the top ten elsewhere. It received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Song. It garnered four Grammy Award nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year winning for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media. With 32 awards as of February 2019, "Shallow" is the most awarded song in history. The song was performed live at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, the 91st Academy Awards, and serves as the encore to Gaga's Las Vegas residency show, Enigma.

Why Did You Do That?

"Why Did You Do That?" is a song recorded by American singer Lady Gaga, for the 2018 film A Star Is Born and its soundtrack of the same name. It was written by Gaga with Diane Warren, Mark Nilan Jr., Nick Monson and Paul "DJWS" Blair and also produced by them, except Warren. The song appeared in the film during a sequence when Gaga's character, Ally, performs it on Saturday Night Live, watched by her husband Jackson (played by co-star Bradley Cooper). Later Jackson berates Ally for selling out with the trite lyrics of the song, but she defends the song choice. "Why Did You Do That?" was written by the songwriters to portray a retro and modern feel in the track, and was recorded while Gaga was on her Joanne World Tour.

"Why Did You Do That?" contains influences of the work of The Neptunes intercepted with instrumentation from a xylophone and a repetitive chorus. Following its release, the track received much attention due to its lyrics, which critics and fans relegated as an argument against pop music, but still enjoyed it as a guilty pleasure. The songwriters defended the track, saying that it was specifically written for emphasizing that Ally's career was on the rise as Jackson's went downhill. It charted at number 17 on the Slovakia Digital Top 100 chart.

A Star Is Born
Films
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Musical or Comedy
(1996–2010, 2018-present)
Motion Picture Drama
(1996–2009, 2018-present)
Motion Picture
(2010–2017, retired)

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