I just saw A Star is Born, and I can tell you I am full of Lady Gaga feels now.
Watching Gaga take on a role that was both emotionally intense and vocally challenging was wonderful to see. While there were some powerful and well-done moments, there were several areas in which I wanted more from a Gaga-helmed flick.
*Warning, spoilers ahead*
The music was awesome. While I would have preferred more harmonizing duets, I thought there were a solid amount of songs perfect for me to belt out in the shower. In the interest of transparency, Gaga could sing through a phone book and I would get goosebumps. Still, I loved Gaga’s final song and was definitely tearing up from my front row seat at the theater.
Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott all gave powerful performances, showcasing nuanced characters many scripts (written by Jewish writer Eric Roth) don’t allow for.
My favorite scenes (aside from those in which Gaga power belts) were Sam Elliot’s. Pairing him and Bradley Cooper together for some intense brotherly drama worked very well. It seemed natural to watch.
Not knowing what to expect from Gaga, I was very impressed with her ability to so sincerely play a character much more diminutive than her regular persona.
What could have been better
The single biggest area I wish were stronger was the tenuous queer inclusion. While the drag bar scenes were vibrant and delightful, the drag queen characters served only to provide brief entertainment and help move the plotline of the straight and cisgendered protagonists.
I have a similar qualm with Ramon, Anthony Ramos’s character. Director Bradley Cooper took Ramos, an original Hamilton cast member, and threw him in as the Gay Best Friend. He gets no story of his own, only existing to support Ally (Gaga’s character), and his apparent gayness only serves to show how interesting and accepting Ally is.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie. While the queer elements could have been stronger, A Star is Born feels well put together. It seems to balance being updated and modern while staying true to the enduring story’s roots of its past three renditions. If you haven’t seen it yet, add it to your list. It’s well worth it.