Film View: “A Star is Born”

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 28, 2019

By Rolando Giustini
For the Clemmons Courier

Here we go again!

After my review of “Mary Poppins Returns,” I find myself with another movie remake, and remake, and remake!

This new 2019 “A Star is Born” is the fourth remake of this old Hollywood story.

This film started with the 1937 Janet Gaynor and Fredric March version, followed by the 1954 film with Judy Garland and James Mason, and was followed by the 1976 version which starred Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

But, this 2019 version is actually the fifth remake. In 1932, George Kukor’s “What Price Hollywood?” told the story, one of Hollywood’s favorite tales. “What Price Hollywood?” was one of David O. Selznick’s pet projects, a classic rise-and-fall story. It’s an old story of a star once great, now a drunk, on his way down, who takes a young, wannabe singer, under his wing and helps her to grow into a star greater than he. At the end, he kills himself.

But, “What Price Hollywood?” was not the start. In 1932, Selznick took a rich story by Hollywood journalist Adela Rogers St. Johns,
“The Truth About Hollywood,” changed the name to “A Star is Born” and remade it into a film in 1937.

The new film is a tribute to Bradley Cooper, his first film as director. Singer Lady GaGa’s serious acting debut is great, as is Sam Elliott’s return to some serious acting.

Clint Eastwood advised Cooper to take on the project, and helped him along as his mentor. Eastwood is a great guy, and even was kind to me when I was a young filmmaker in one of his films in his old days in Italy.

Overlooked by many, the film earned eight nominations, is in second place to win a Best Picture Award, and made $204.8 million at the box office.

I highly recommend this film. It’s great, and in many ways, better than the other versions. If you want to hear some great songs and see some fine acting, don’t miss it. If you want to see some wonderful directing and see strong chemistry between two actors, don’t miss it. Without giving any spoilers away, the end is very touching.

See this film, it is great!