‘A Star Is Born’ Tugs at the Heartstrings

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Shine

Neal Preston/Warner Bros.

Bradley Cooper marks his directing debut with an ode to the 1937 romantic melodrama A Star Is Born, famously remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason and again in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Cooper plays famous country-rock musician Jackson Maine, whose drunken search for more alcohol leads him to a drag bar where he stumbles into Ally (Lady Gaga), an unknown singer who Jackson then mentors. Soon, Ally and Jackson enter into a romantic relationship that is often overshadowed by Jackson’s alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. As Ally takes on her self-doubt and fear of performing in front of Jackson’s sold-out crowds, she makes sacrifices in her own burgeoning career for love and authenticity. Cooper and Lady Gaga depict the rawness and erosion of their relationship so well that both actors are receiving Oscar buzz.