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Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Dazzles Critics: ‘Extraordinary,’ ‘Terrific’

Film co-starring Lady Gaga premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Friday

“A Star Is Born” had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Friday, and critics are raving about Bradley Cooper’s remake starring Lady Gaga, giving the film a score of 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Critics gave praise for Cooper behind and in front of the camera, but Gaga’s performance was also lauded as “extraordinary.”

“Believe the pre-premiere hype: Lady Gaga is nothing short of extraordinary,” The Film Stage’s Leonardo Goi wrote in his review, while Time’s Stephanie Zacharek wrote, “Cooper has succeeded in making a terrific melodrama for the modern age.”

TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde wrote, “For all the reasons that a fourth iteration of ‘A Star Is Born’ — fifth, if you count the 1932 drama ‘What Price Hollywood?’ whose DNA is in every ‘Star’ — shouldn’t and wouldn’t work in 2018, it’s an extraordinary surprise that this new version packs such a wallop … Between Bradley Cooper (as a filmmaker) and Lady Gaga (as a big-screen lead), the title applies to both of them.”

In the film, Cooper plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine who discovers struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She is about to give up on her dream of being a singer until Maine coaxes her into the spotlight. But when Ally’s career takes off, Jackson has to fight against his own inner demons.

The film co-stars Sam Elliott, comedian Dave Chappelle and Andrew Dice Clay. Bill Gerber, Jon Peters, Cooper, Todd Phillips and Lynette Howell Taylor are producing, while Ravi Mehta, Basil Iwanyk, Niija Kuykendall, Sue Kroll, Michael Rapino and Heather Parry serve as executive producers.

Cooper, Eric Roth and Will Fetters wrote the screenplay. Following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, “A Star Is Born” is slated for release on Oct. 5, 2018.

See reviews below.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: 

“Cooper directs and co-stars in this outrageously watchable and colossally enjoyable new version, supercharged with dilithium crystals of pure melodrama. He appears opposite a sensationally good Lady Gaga, whose ability to be part ordinary person, part extraterrestrial celebrity empress functions at the highest level at all times.”

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

“Cooper has succeeded in making a terrific melodrama for the modern age. This is a story of big personalities and even bigger human mistakes. These days we’re always ready for our own close-ups. What a relief to turn the stage over to someone else for a change.”

Jessica Kiang, The Playlist:

“We get a truly fantastic Bradley Cooper performance, playing by far the most sympathetic version of this character we’ve yet seen — the type of heart-stoppingly gorgeous fantasy guy who not only whisks you to a gig in his private jet but also swipes the frozen peas at the checkout, the quicker to apply them to your swollen hand.”

Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

“Taken on its own terms as an unashamedly anachronistic attempt to muster the emotional intensity of the Hollywood melodrama tradition, Cooper’s film must be at least grudgingly acknowledged as a success. And both stars, Gaga in particular, emerge with honour. That might not be enough to draw a wide public, although the film could register respectably with older viewers who want old-fashioned romance with a grittier touch than ‘Mamma Mia!’ and a less artsy one than ‘La La Land.'”

Mara Reinstein, US Weekly

“The fourth retelling of the classic ‘A Star Is Born’ proves the ultimate talent showcase for the New Yorker born Stefanie Germanotta. Playing an aspiring singer named Ally, she croons, dances, plays piano and co-writes her material, and if you told me that she also served as the gaffer and director of photography, I’d believe it. Her buzzy movie has a lot going for it, including a vibrant soundtrack and compelling performances all around. Best Original Song Oscar nods are in the bag. But this petite dynamo’s gifts are the biggest takeaway, by far.”

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: 

“If the ending is telegraphed from miles away, and the central romance feels more like a gorgeously patina-ed imitation of life than the real thing, maybe that’s because ‘Star’ is less a story now than a myth — not so much reborn as recast, and passed on to the care of the next generation.”

Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage

“Believe the pre-premiere hype: Lady Gaga is nothing short of extraordinary. Packed with several original songs Gaga and Cooper composed with a handful of hit makers (including country legend Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas) and recorded live during filming, ‘A Star is Born’ showcases oodles of Gaga’s preternatural musical talent, but also confirms-if there was ever a need to prove it-her magnetic stage presence. Watching her muster all her courage before joining Cooper on stage to sing before a sold-out stadium is the first in a long series of goosebump-inducing performances.”