• 1.0- October 2018
  • electricity on the stage thanks to Aronofsky’s DP Matthew Libatique and raw intimacy in the dramatic off-stage scenes thanks to two (or three if you count sam elliott) powerhouse performances (tremendous moment here)
  • you can definitely see the beautiful stage lighting work and comparisons with like Black Swan
  • Cooper’s performance is very good- but certainly very borrowed from Sam Elliott’s voice (a point acknowledged, in a way that’s very well done in the film), part Kris Kristofferson—part Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart for sure
  • Lots of closeups as a camera choice—typical of an actor turned director- focusing on the performances and not the entire frame. The performers and performances are great though so it pays off- Andrew Dice Clay gets some nice scenes, Sam Elliott’s pickup truck scene- devastating
  • Memorable scenes- clearly Cooper has a ton of confidence- and Lady Gaga does as well- it comes across well—there are individual scenes, like the one on the balcony where he tells her this is all fleeting, the first time they performance “The Shallows” which is a stunning song

viewing 2.0 February 2019

  • the pill-popping, gin-drinking quick character exposition on Cooper’s Jackson Maine isn’t exactly Hitchcock explaining Joseph Cotton’s character in Shadow of a Doubt but it’s admirable still
  • Lady Gaga’s character intro walking down the alley with the big red “A Star is Born” is a fantastic shot composition
  • Did not catch it the first time but the nooses on the electric signs in the opening scenes introducing Cooper’s Maine- great visual touch and foreshadowing– solid form
  • we’re draped in blues and reds to indicate characters- mostly Gaga in Red- I love this touch 
  • Also admirable to add to the realism of some of the flirtations between the two lead actors is that, repeatedly, Cooper’s Maine cannot hear what’s being said and he says so. It’s a great touch
  • the writing of “The Shallows” in the parking lot- with the lighting of the story- is a great scene
  • it’s the fourth remake so of course this is an archetype and there are cliches galore but it’s a unique version– unique enough
  • it’s really a film of two-halves. The first half is superb- some great scenes (the first live performance of “the shallows” truly transcendent) but the film, strength of the visuals and narrative- fade over the next hour
  • R/HR border