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A Star Is Born will bring tears to your eyes

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A Star Is Born will bring tears to your eyes

Photo courtesy of Clay Enos

Photo courtesy of Clay Enos

Photo courtesy of Clay Enos

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A Star Is Born is a poignantly reiterated Hollywood classic: the birth of one star, and the decline of another.

Directed by Bradley Cooper — who not only directed this as his debut film, but also stars in it — this old-fashioned, cinema-esque heart breaker wrings tears from its audience.

The story follows the rise of struggling singer-songwriter Ally — played by none other than Lady Gaga — whose talent was discovered by famous musician Jackson Maines, played by Cooper, when she was singing in a drag bar.

Despite being obviously drunk upon meeting her, Jackson manages both to realize her potential and begin to fall for her. At one of his concerts, he coaxes her into the spotlight by encouraging her to sing a song she wrote with him. With her volcanic voice and his help, she is welcomed by the world with fame and recognition.

Even if you’re not going to see A Star Is Born, you should definitely check out the soundtrack, particularly the duet “Shallow,” sung by Cooper and Gaga. It’s a turning point for both characters in the film: they’re opening up to each other, and she’s singing a start to her stardom.

Following her viral breakout, Ally is soon spotted by Interscope Records, and records her first single, then her first album.

However, not all the songs on the soundtrack are as spectacular as “Shallow.” As her sleazy manager launches her into popularity, it’s reflected in her music: in “Why Did You Do That?”, for example, the the music is soulless and bland compared to her earlier, more heartfelt songs.

According to The Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday, “As Ally becomes more successful, she starts to resemble a parody of a pop tartlet: one part Brittney, one part Katy and no part real.”

Much later in the movie, though, she regains her identity as a moving artist in her final song.

On another hand, in Cooper’s take on A Star Is Born, the characters are beautifully layered. Supporting themes of substance abuse lend some gut-wrenching scenes to pull along a plot that could have been worn bland from previous versions. Throughout a somewhat overused storyline, both characters are forced to battle their inner demons, offering vulnerability to their characters. Jack fights his urge to get loaded, while Ally struggles to support him, maintain her career, and shove aside her own insecurities. “His trauma — she’s insecure, but he’s damaged — becomes a deep well that she draws from, allowing her to become a greater artist,” said New York Times critic Manohla Dargis.

A Star Is Born may initially seem like a drama, or just another love story – but its additional themes of addiction and passionate music weave together into a resounding tearjerker. Besides its emotional appeal, A Star Is Born also delivers a punchy, gritty effect to keep it from being too vanilla. If you love a tragic, gorgeous movie – and incredible music – do yourself a favor and see A Star Is Born.

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A Star Is Born will bring tears to your eyes