- All the performances in this film are fantastic. But the obvious standouts are the two leads. Bradley Cooper brings his take of the grizzled singer and he delivers. Cooper oozes with charm throughout the film. While he as well brings a primal brokenness to his character that brings in particularly one of the most hard to watch scenes I’ve seen all year. His vocal work on and off the stage is great. His choice to give the character a low husky growl pays off tremendously as it brings so much to the character. Lady Gaga on the other hand brings a sensitive unchained rawness that is let loose throughout the film. Her singing throughout is something to behold and is just flat out astonishing. The chemistry between Cooper and Gaga is terrific throughout. We slowly through Cooper’s characters eyes fall in love with Gaga’s “Ally”, as we then see their relationship blossom. Both Cooper and Gaga are easy shoo-ins for Oscar nominations.
- Bradley Cooper with his directorial debut crafts together a romantic soulful ballad on the desire of story telling, while also being a dissection of the human ego. Cooper comes in and directs this film with such a lyrical cadence and brings the best telling of this story we’ve seen so far. The choice of doing all the music live, which I’ve heard came from a suggestion by Gaga, pays off in every way. The emotion of the live singing is something a studio-track can’t bring and this film takes full advantage of that.
- The cinematography by Matthew Libatique captures the essence of this film very well, as it is natural, relatable and larger than life all at once. Yet with all of that the emotional punches still land.
- There are two character relationships that probably should have been fleshed out a little more. One character in particular shows up and we are just expected to know and believe that the two have a past together, but the film doesn’t really execute that very well.
- The film’s last 20 minutes or so, are a bit rushed in its plotting.