Lady Gaga’s new movie, a remake of A Star Is Born, had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival — and critics are loving it.
The film is a musical remake of the 1937 film of the same name. It’s the third such remake, following 1954’s with Judy Garland and 1976’s with Barbara Streisand.
Bradley Cooper co-stars in the new iteration with Gaga, and the film also marks his directorial debut.
It follows Jackson (Cooper), the drinking country singer, and Ally (Gaga), an unknown singer-songwriter, as well as their love story and tribulations with fame.
Something for a new generation
Numerous critics are calling the film a familiar story for a new generation.
Leah Greenblatt, for Entertainment Weekly, says the movie is ‘less a story now than a myth — not so much reborn as recast, and passed on to the care of the next generation’.
She gave the film an B+ overall, and also praised Gaga’s performance.
‘She deserves praise for her restrained, human-scale performance as a singer whose real-girl vulnerability feels miles away from the glittery meat-dress delirium of her own stage persona,’ she Greenblatt writes.
David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter says there’s ‘a lot to love’ in the film. He describes it as ‘a durable tale of romance, heady fame and crushing tragedy, retold for a new generation with heart and grit’.
He also writes this new version is less of a ‘vanity-project trap’ than the 1976 film.
Lady Gaga in a star-defining turn
Other critics also praised Gaga’s performance.
Stephanie Zacharek for Time calls her the star of the whole show. She posits most versions of this story are done in a way where the male character threatens to ‘steal the show’. This time, however, it’s different.
‘Cooper fades into the corner at just the right moments, allowing Gaga to shine. He recognizes that as a performer, she’s larger than life; he’s just about life-sized, and there’s no shame in that.’
Owen Gleiberman for Variety, meanwhile, calls this version of Lady Gaga, actress, a brand new character.
‘Gaga, in an ebullient and winningly direct performance, never lets her own star quality get in the way of the character,’ he writes. ‘Or, rather, she lets us see that star quality is something that lives inside Ally but is still waiting to come out.’
The movie currently boasts a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. It arrives in theaters on 5 October.