Review: A new star is born: Lady Gaga’s acting career

Bradley Cooper’s newest project, “A Star is Born” is a beautiful yet tragic story that explores the price of celebrity and the toll it takes on your mental health. The story follows the relationship between Jackson Maine, a washed-up country star falling from grace after a larger than life career, played by Cooper, and Ally, a young woman discovering her talent while rising to fame, played by Lady Gaga.

Cooper’s character is in a constant battle with depression and substance abuse. For the first half of the movie, he puts up a front that he’s a carefree musician who has everything. As the movie continues, we get to watch as layers are pulled back, exposing Maine’s true self as a vulnerable, depressed, self-loathing man who can’t seem to let go of the bottle. Cooper’s portrayal of this is spot-on, giving us a heart-wrenching glimpse into the life of an addict.

Gaga’s character, Ally, is equally complex and intriguing. At the beginning she is bitter, claiming her lack of success is because of her nose. As the movie continues she takes control of her life, claiming her triumph as something she deserves, large nose or not. Ally finds out that fame is not all she thought it would be.

The soundtrack by Bradley Cooper and Willie Nelson is one for the books. Other movies, like “La La Land,” have great soundtracks but can’t quite beat this one. The main song, “The Shallow,” showcases Gaga’s vocals in a way they have never been used before. Her voice sounds raw and untouched, giving it a new kind of vulnerability. Another song, “Look What I Found,” is a quirky, Carole King-esque piano tune that made me want to dance. The country songs written for Jackson Maine are catchy as well. Cooper’s deep, sandpaper-like voice is a surprisingly perfect contrast to Gaga’s bold and dramatic vocals.

I particularly enjoyed Cooper’s take on the concert scenes. The close-ups of guitar solos and views from backstage remind me of scenes from the movie “Almost Famous.” They made me feel connected to the music, as if I was at the concert myself.  Cooper and Gaga create a musical symbiosis, each drawing energy and inspiration from the other.

Cooper’s directorial debut is a complete success in my eyes. He manages to shine a light on important topics like substance abuse and depression with both honesty and sensitivity. His biggest success, though, was casting Lady Gaga. She brought a sense of life and emotion to the screen that no other star could achieve. Her performance alone makes “A Star is Born” worth seeing. Don’t miss out on the start of what I expect to be a remarkable acting career.