A musical film excelling in its genre. Bradley Cooper as Jackson, and Lady Gaga as Ally, gave great performances as actors as well as musicians, and the music is beautiful. However, underlying the chemistry between the established and emerging stars lay the devastating long term drug addiction and alcoholism of Jackson, which despite his best efforts he abused himself with to the end. A very romantic film in which the couple remain deeply in love throughout, was at the same time filled with heartache and anxiety, leaving me in a state of emotional exhaustion.
The two shorts preceding the main film were excellent and tied in very well with it. The first, an exquisite animated film of two dancers I could watch time and again. The second had a strange other worldly atmosphere as three film makers, in the process of devising a plot, appeared to eerily make the people around them follow their instructions to the point of frightening themselves into abandoning the project.
The discussion group agreed, all but one, who thought the film was too long and agonising, that 'A Star is Born' is very enjoyable. People noticed the small tributes paid to Judy Garland ... Ally in a previous production. One member thought in this production Ally's rise to stardom was too swiftly accomplished saying that in the Barbara Streisand version more obstacles appeared in a more gradual rise to fame. Some of us thought it would be good to see the 1937 original production starring James Mason and suggested it for consideration for the Rusthall Film Society, which, incidentally, everyone present at the discussion was interested in.