A Star is Born (2018) Film Review

Ally (Lady Gaga) works in a hotel and in her spare time, sings in a small bar. One day alcoholic superstar musician Jack (Bradley Cooper) comes in. They fall in love, her career kicks off and a star is born! But his addiction is ruining everything around him and it seems to only be her love for him that keeps him going.

Look, I like the music, and the performances were very enjoyable, and I do have a soft spot for Lady Gaga, but it was quite problematic in many ways. I especially hated the whole ‘woman needs to fix broken man’ story. I was just thinking about the film and trying to remember the other female characters and I realised that I couldn’t recall any, so I had a quick squiz on IMDB and there are no other women in the film. No wait, yes, there were a couple of dancers, there was a wife of someone. What world is this that there are no women? No wonder I didn’t like this film. Yup, in writing this, I’ve decided that I just didn’t like it. Man is broken, needs woman to fix him. Woman is star struck, stays in a destructive abusive relationship why? For the fame? Romanticising the idea that women should tolerate appalling behaviour to save face? Ugh. Now I’ve made myself cross. No, let me correct that. This film has made me cross. Seeing as IMDB was open, I thought I’d quickly look at the writing credits. All men. Not really surprising. I suppose an argument could be made that not every film needs to take into consideration the women’s perspective, or the non-white perspective (it’s an extremely white cast), or the LGBT perspective (the couple’s first encounter does happen in a drag club, but this ‘family’ for Ally is left behind pretty darn quickly). But a woman’s story being told by men and excluding women from every aspect of her life? Surely we’re beyond that now? Aren’t we?

A Star is Born won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture (Shallow ) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture- Drama, Best Director – Motion Picture (Bradley Cooper), Best Performance by an Action in a Motion Picture (Bradley Cooper) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Lady Gaga).

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