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A Star Is Born (2018 film)

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A Star Is Born
A Star is Born.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bradley Cooper
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on A Star Is Born
by William A. Wellman
Robert Carson
Dorothy Parker
Alan Campbell
Starring
Cinematography Matthew Libatique[2]
Edited by Jay Cassidy[2]
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures[5]
Release date
  • August 31, 2018 (2018-08-31) (Venice)
  • October 5, 2018 (2018-10-05) (United States)
Running time
135 minutes[6]
Country United States
Budget $36–40 million[7][8]
Box office $135.4 million[9]

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 Cooper, Eric Roth 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 (which was loosely based on the 1932 film What Price Hollywood?), after the 1954 musical, the 1976 rock musical, and the 2013 Bollywood romance film.

Talks of a remake of A Star Is Born 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. Pictures. The film has grossed $135 million worldwide and received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper and Gaga's performances, Cooper's direction, the screenplay, the cinematography, and the music.

Plot

Jackson Maine, a famous country singer privately battling an alcohol and drug addiction, plays a concert in California ("Black Eyes"). His main support is Bobby, his manager and significantly older half-brother. After the show, Jackson happens upon a drag bar where he witnesses a performance by Ally, a waitress and singer-songwriter ("La Vie en rose"). Jackson is amazed by her talent; they spend the night speaking to each other, where Ally discloses to him the troubles she has faced in pursing a professional music career.

Jackson invites Ally to his next show. Despite her initial refusal she attends and, with Jackson's encouragement, sings on stage with him ("Shallow"). Jackson invites Ally to go on tour with him, and they slowly begin to form a romantic relationship ("Maybe It's Time"). One night, they begin to initiate sex, but Jackson passes out drunk. In Arizona, Ally and Jackson visit the ranch where Jackson grew up and where his father is buried, only to discover that Bobby sold the land. Angered at his betrayal, Jackson punches Bobby, who subsequently quits as his manager.

While on tour ("Always Remember Us This Way") Ally meets Rez, a record producer who offers her a contract. While visibly bothered, Jackson supports her decision. Rez refocuses Ally away from country music and towards pop ("Heal Me"). Jackson misses one of Ally's performances after he passes out drunk in public; he recovers at the home of his friend Noodles, and later makes up with Ally. Afterwards, Jackson proposes to Ally with ring made from a loop of guitar string, and they are married that same day.

While Ally is performing on Saturday Night Live ("Why Did You Do That?"), Bobby reconciles with Jackson. Later, Jackson and Ally fight after he drunkenly voices his disapproval of Ally's new image and music, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. At the Grammys, a visibly intoxicated Jackson 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, Jackson follows her, where he urinates on himself and passes out. Lorenzo berates Jackson and Ally helps him sober up. Jackson joins a drug rehabilitation program shortly thereafter.

Jackson recovers in rehab, where he discloses to his counselor that he attempted suicide as a teenager. He tearfully apologizes to Ally for his behavior, and returns home. Ally wishes to bring Jackson 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 Jackson.

Rez later confronts Jackson, informing him of Ally's decision to cancel her tour and accusing him of holding Ally back. That evening, Ally lies to Jackson, and tells him that the label has cancelled her tour so she can focus on her sophomore album. Jackson promises that he will come to her concert that night, but after Ally leaves, he hangs himself in his garage.

Ally becomes inconsolable after Jackson's death. She is visited by Bobby, who explains Jackson's death was his own fault and not hers. Ally takes a song that Jackson had written but never performed and decides to sing it at a tribute concert, where she introduces herself as Ally Maine ("I'll Never Love Again").

Cast

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

Additionally, Rebecca Field appears as Gail, Shangela Laquifa Wadley as the drag bar emcee, Willam Belli as drag queen Emerald, Greg Grunberg as Jackson's driver Phil, and Ron Rifkin as Carl. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real appear as Jackson's band, 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.[10] In April 2012, writer Will Fetters told Collider that the script was inspired by Kurt Cobain.[11] 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.[12]

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;[13] Cooper did become the male lead.[14][15][16] 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.[17] It marks the fourth remake of the original 1937 film, after the 1954 musical, the 1976 rock musical and the 2013 Bollywood romance film.[18] On November 9, 2016, it was reported that Ray Liotta was in talks to join the film in the role of the manager to Lady Gaga's character, though he ultimately was not involved.[19] On March 17, 2017, Sam Elliott joined the film,[20] with Andrew Dice Clay entering negotiations to play Lorenzo, the father of Lady Gaga's character.[21] Clay was selected over Robert De Niro, John Turturro and John Travolta.[22] In April 2017, Rafi Gavron, Michael Harney, and Rebecca Field also joined the cast.[23]

Filming began on April 17, 2017.[2] In May, Dave Chappelle was cast in the film.[24] In April 2018, it was announced that Halsey would have a small role.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27] 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."[28]

Release

A Star Is Born had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2018.[29][30] It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival,[31] the San Sebastián International Film Festival, and the Zurich Film Festival in September 2018.[32][33] The film was theatrically released in the United States on October 5, 2018,[34] distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, after initially having been set for September 28, 2018, and May 18, 2018, releases.[35][36]

Reception

Box office

As of October 14, 2018, A Star Is Born has grossed $94.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $41.2 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $135.4 million, against a production budget of $36–40 million.[9]

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.[8] The film remained in second place the following weekend, dropping 35% to $28 million.[37]

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).[38]

Critical response

The performances and chemistry of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, as well as Cooper's direction, garnered critical acclaim.[39][40]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, A Star Is Born holds an approval rating of 90% based on 340 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10. 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."[41] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100, based on 60 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[42] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale,[43] while PostTrak reported film-goers gave it a 90% positive score.[8]

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".[44] Owen Gleiberman of Variety lauded Cooper's directing, co-writing, and acting, and called the film "a transcendent Hollywood movie".[45] 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."[39] 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."[46]

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.[40] 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.[47] 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.[48]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d Perry, Spencer (April 17, 2017). "First Look at Lady Gaga in A Star is Born Remake". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "A Star Is Born (billing block)". Warner Bros. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "A Star Is Born trailer with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga". Film-news.co.uk. June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "A Star is Born". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  7. ^ Kilday, Gregg (August 22, 2018). "How 'A Star Is Born' Re-created the "Man's World" of Music, Coachella Concert Scenes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 7, 2018). "'Venom' Still Showing $80M Fangs; 'A Star Is Born' Hitting $42M+ High Note In Record October Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "A Star Is Born (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Magrath, Andrea (January 21, 2011). "A Star Is Born... again: Clint Eastwood in talks to direct Beyonce in yet another remake of Hollywood classic". Daily Mail. London. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011.
  11. ^ Chitwood, Adam (April 1, 2012). "Screenwriter Will Fetters Talks Clint Eastwood's A STAR IS BORN; Says Script Was Inspired by Kurt Cobain". Collider.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 9, 2012). "Beyonce exits Eastwood's 'A Star Is Born' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  13. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (March 24, 2015). "Bradley Cooper To Make Directing Debut, Hopes To Star With Beyonce In 'A Star Is Born' For Warner Bros". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  14. ^ Bart, Peter; Fleming Jr, Mike (May 2, 2016). "Bart & Fleming: Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga Road Test 'A Star Is Born' Team-Up". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
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  18. ^ Noelfi, Joel (April 18, 2017). "How Lady Gaga's A Star Is Born evolved with Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, more". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
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  21. ^ Busch, Anita (March 23, 2017). "Andrew Dice Clay In Negotiations To Join 'A Star Is Born' In Key Role". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  22. ^ Andrew Dice Clay Says He Beat Robert De Niro, John Travolta for ‘A Star Is Born’ Role
  23. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 28, 2017). "'A Star Is Born' Adds Rafi Gavron & Michael Harney". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  24. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 5, 2017). "Dave Chappelle Joins 'A Star Is Born' Redo". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  25. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (April 26, 2018). "Sony Pictures Makes Deal With Halsey For Movie Inspired By Singer's Life". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  26. ^ Finn, Timothy (February 2, 2018). "He's worked with Neil Young, Gaga and his dad, Willie Nelson. Now he's coming to KC". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  27. ^ Stephens, Samantha (September 18, 2017). "How Lady Gaga Brought Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real's "Find Yourself" to Life". CMT. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  28. ^ @Interscope (August 30, 2018). "#AStarIsBornSoundtrack 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" (Tweet). Retrieved August 30, 2018 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ Chu, Henry (July 23, 2018). "'A Star Is Born' to World Premiere at Venice Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  30. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy; Hammond, Pete. "Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born' Headed To Venice After 1st Hollywood Screening Impresses Exhibitors – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
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  32. ^ Vlessing, Etan (July 24, 2018). "Toronto: Timothee Chalamet Starrer 'Beautiful Boy,' Dan Fogelman's 'Life Itself' Among Festival Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
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  34. ^ Lawrence, Derek (December 20, 2017). "Lady Gaga's A Star Is Born shifts release date back to fall 2018". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
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  36. ^ Kroll, Justin. "Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga's 'Star is Born' Moves to May 2018". Variety. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  37. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 14, 2018). "'Sony Swings Past $1 Billion As 'Venom' Bites $35M+; 'First Man' Lands Third With $16M+ – Sunday AM". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  38. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (October 7, 2018). "'Venom' Sinks Teeth Into $205M Global Bow; Sets Biggest October Debut WW – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  39. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (August 31, 2018). "Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper make (mostly) beautiful music in A Star Is Born: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  40. ^ a b Chang, Justin (September 8, 2018). "'A Star Is Born,' 'Beautiful Boy' bring stories of love and addiction to Toronto". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  41. ^ "A Star Is Born (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  42. ^ "A Star Is Born (2018) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  43. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Star Is Born, A" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  44. ^ Duralde, Alonso (August 31, 2018). "A Star Is Born Film Review: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Reinvigorate a Classic". The Wrap. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  45. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (August 31, 2018). "Venice Film Review: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  46. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (August 31, 2018). "Lady Gaga Delivers a Knockout Performance in A Star Is Born". Time. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  47. ^ Travers, Peter (October 1, 2018). "'A Star Is Born' Review: Cooper, Lady Gaga Hit All the Right Notes". Rolling Stone.
  48. ^ Hornaday, Ann (September 21, 2018). "Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's hotly anticipated 'A Star is Born' is here — and it is lavishly delightful". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2018.

External links