That Lady Gaga can come out of the blocks like this, on her movie acting debut, is nothing short of remarkable. She gives the currently almost peerless Bradley Cooper (four Oscar nominations, soon to be six I’d suggest) a close run in who is the stand out talent in this epic and beautiful movie (encompassing, as it does, both Coachela and Glastonbury on its flightpath).
This is a great movie, a classic Hollywood blockbuster with no pretentious of arthouse glory, just great storytelling, great acting, great directing (Cooper), great cinematography and great music (Cooper again, and Gaga).
Frankly, what is there not to love in that list?
I won’t bore you with the plot, we all know it, but the thing that counts in this is the relationship between the two leads – virtually no-one else really matters; other than to propel the storyline along. This is ALL about Gaga and Cooper who are electrifying from the second they meet.
If they are not both Oscar nominated I will be astounded because this is an uncanny love affair between two actors that seem, in love.
Gaga’s willingness to loudly declare her physical kinks, specifically her considerable nose only makes her more believable, more loveable and, in fact, more beautiful. Few would call Gaga a poster girl, her looks are unorthodox in the beauty stakes, but the endless intense close ups of her warts and all features make her tremendously endearing.
Bradley Cooper, by contrast, is as handsome as it is possible to imagine with his piercing blue eyes, interesting new facial hair and a torso to kill for.
He directs this simple story with simplicity. At all times less is more and he manages, brilliantly, in the second act, to downplay Gaga’s fame with superbly unloveable material. The fact is, her success is gained by bypassing her natural talent and fabricating a stage persona that is so underwhelming as to make you gasp (well done Rafi Gavin on odiously achieving that feat on her behalf).
Cooper’s jealousy is never melodramatic and his portrayal of drug and drink induced stupor is profoundly believable.
I was constantly on the edge of tears during this movie, because it’s achingly endearing and a true work of art.
100% and unreservedly recommended.