A Star is Born



A life without surprises is a paltry thing. Today I was surprised. Very happily surprised.          Each year in Arizona Chris and I have had a project–to see all the films nominated for best picture for the Academy Awards. It has been fun. One of the great benefits has been that we have a seen a lot of films we would never have seen otherwise. Sometimes we have dragged ourselves kicking and screaming to the theatre.  Today was one of those days.  I really wanted to see On the Basis of Sex, the film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s career as a lawyer fighting sex discrimination cases in the US. I still want to see that. But we could not make when it was showing near us. So our second choice, was A Star is Born. I’m sure we never would have gone to see it were it not for our project. Thank goodness for the project.

The storey is about country/rock singer (Bradley Cooper) with substance abuse issues who takes on a young woman (Lady Gaga) who works in a restaurant, but sings at night in Trans Bar.  The woman has talent and he becomes her mentor and drags her on stage to sing over her objections. And the rest is history.

This film surprised us. I liked many things about it, but particularly the singing. First, Bradley Cooper. He was pretty good. How can a movie star be a singer too? How does that work? I have so little talent and he has so much. How can that be?  I really enjoyed his portrayal of the substance abusing country/rock star. It was a great performance.

Then comes Lady Gaga. I have to say I really knew little about her. I would not even have recognized her. I had never paid attention to her or her music. I always thought Lady Gaga was shallow. I thought her name sad it all. That shows you how ignorant I was. Iam the one who was shallow. That is a bit hard to admit. Once again I have to be humble. As everyone knows, I have no good reason not to be humble, yet I have a hard time with it.

I thought her singing and acting was outstanding. Again how can she have so much talent while a nice guy like me has so little? It doesn’t seem fair but no one ever promised fair. I particularly liked her song “Shallow”, which she wrote and they  performed. I have been told that all the singing in the movie was live. Well it certainly was real!  The impromptu performance  transforms her life. The song is not shallow. It starts as a duet but Lady Gaga raises the bar for the last exuberant solo verse including the line I really liked, “We’re far from the shallow now.” That’s exactly it. What a great surprise.

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