The Oscar nominated A Star is Born comes home today on blu-ray from Warner Brothers, and it makes a great addition to the collection, and a fantastic new iteration of the classic story.
Starring Bradley Cooper (who also served as the film’s director) and a bravura performance by Lady Gaga (both of them were nominated for Best Actor awards, deservedly so), this version of the story updates the classic tale for an all new audience.
Cooper plays Jackson Main, a rocker who’s made his career, and now only seems to be able to find some manner of solace in a bottle and a handful of pills, even as his celebrity continues to bring in the crowds, and attention.
As Ally, Gaga shines as a young singer-songwriter, who through a meet cute with Jackson, has the opportunity to get her chance at fame, to be a star. But can she be honest to who she is?
And as Main’s star wanes, and Ally’s star waxes their relationship is caught in the middle, and will lead them down an inescapable path.
The film has been told three different ways before this, once in 1937, once in 1954, and again in 1976. Each version is different, but the core of the story remains the same. However, Cooper makes the subject material his own, and practically loses himself in the role, but so does everyone else around him as well. Gaga is fantastic, steps above her turn in AHS, and Sam Elliott garners himself a Best Supporting nod as Jackson’s older brother.
The blu-ray makes for solid entertainment and the musical/concert numbers give the sound system a nice workout while the picture transfer is sharp and clear.
The film is an engaging watch, and the disc comes with a few extras that expand on the film’s content including a special feature that showcases all the musical numbers in the film playing consecutively. There are a grouping of music videos for the biggest songs in the films, Shallow, Always Remember Us This Way, Look What I Found and I’ll Never Love Again.
The film also features some recordings of the pair together jamming in pre-production and in sequences cut from the film. Rounding out the bonus features is a half hour documentary that takes us behind the scenes on how the film was created, and discussions with the cast. These are the kinds of docs I like, it gives us a fairly solid look at the film and the people behind it.
As solid a piece of film making as A Star is Born is, I’m not sure it’s worthy of the Oscar nod for Best Picture. The other awards it is nominated for, including Best Original Song (Shallow), Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Adapted Screenplay I can heartily endorse. I just don’t see this as a Best Picture.
But hey, the Academy may prove me wrong this weekend.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a truly fantastic film, and one that needs to be seen, and enjoyed (probably repeatedly). It’s a great ride,but speaking personally, I’m not sure it’s a Best Picture. But hey, pick one up from Warner Brothers, enjoy the performances, and let me know what you think.
A Star is Born is available now on blu-ray and DVD from Warner Brothers.