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A Star is Born (2018)

As surely as the blinking embers of creativity struggle against Hollywood’s unyielding brand-recognition vacuum, this fourth iteration of A Star is Born will not be the last. Co-writer/director Bradley Cooper plays country star Jackson Maine, who falls for Lady Gaga’s Ally after seeing her perform at a drag bar. They flirt. They fuck. She joins him on tour. Jackson succumbs to a lifetime of demons via drugs and drink. Ally teams with a hungry young producer (Rafi Gavron) who leads her on down a wayward pop path. For glossy Awards bait, A Star is Born doesn’t shy away from big questions about the dueling allure and repulsion of fame, constantly returning (through music and a recognizably human supporting cast) to the question, “Does art matter if the artist has nothing to say?” Gaga answers with a rousing final number that elevates this triple-take remake above prodcut into genuine, soul-searching spectacle.

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