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A Star is Born- Then and Now

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A Star is Born- Then and Now

Claire Mahoney

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A Star Is Born is a new movie directed by and starring Bradley Cooper and co-stars Lady Gaga. The movie is the fourth version: its first production was in 1937, followed by the 1954 version, and then the 1976 movie with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The 2018 version has starstruck the world. Every movie was made in a perfect time era and each individually exemplifies a worldly topic or conflict. The 1976 version of A Star Is Born dipics Streisand’s feminist outlook and was brought on by the women’s liberation movement. In the movie, Streisand continues to use her maiden name to show female empowerment. The 2018 remake focuses on the alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression of Jack (played by Cooper). Mental health is now a big topic and Cooper is able to portray his depression in the movie perfectly to show the consequences of not getting help while he brings his wife (Gaga) down. It also addresses individuality as Gaga “finds herself” in the movie and gets lost in all the stardom.

What’s most amazing about 2018’s version of A Star Is Born is that all of the musical acts were shot live. Lead actor and director Bradley Cooper made a deal with co-star Lady Gaga that she would teach him to sing in order to make him feel more comfortable on stage. All of the music was performed live at major locations such as Coachella (music fest in California) and Glastonbury (music festival in England). They also shared the same stage at Coachella with Kris Kristofferson, the lead actor in the 1976 make of A Star Is Born.

Comparison: A Star Is Born in both 1976 and 2018 stars two singers beginning in greatly differing times of their careers. The lead male character, Kristofferson in 1976 and Cooper in 2018, portray rugged, drunk, burned-out rock stars who struggle to keep up with what their fast-paced career demands of them. The lead female, Streisand (1978) and Lady Gaga (2018), portrays a young woman from LA who is still discovering her musical career, which has not yet taken off.

When the two meet after the rockstar stumbles into a bar and catches the lead female signing, their love forces Streisand and Gaga’s character into the limelight. Their complex love story faces many battles in the wake of a falling star’s despair and the ambition of a young star’s career.

While the main plot of both recent versions are very similar, the biggest difference is in the portrayal of the main characters and the chemistry shown between the couple. Kristofferson more directly shows his weakness of drinking and is initially disliked by the crowds for whom he plays. Booed off the stage multiple times, it is already obvious that his career is declining. Cooper plays a more popular star, playing shows in front of thousands of adoring fans. He doesn’t falter in his performances, where it seems that Kristofferson’s character cannot finish a show without a major mishap caused by his drunkenness. Because of these aspects, Kristofferson’s character initially earns much less respect from the watching audience. In the 2018 version, Cooper’s musical ability and composure will wow you from the start.

In terms of the female lead, both Streisand and Lady Gaga portray extremely talented musicians. Their characters are similar in nature, both individual women who, while nervous in their thrusted position of stardom, portray a confidence in themselves and their talents. Streisand is a little less trusting of her male counterpart, recognizing his major flaws with more attitude. his created a different dynamic between the couple.

In the 2018 version, Gaga shows that she obviously respects Cooper and his music. Because Kristofferson’s character is more flawed, there is more hesitation in the relationship between him and Streisand.

Relating to the motives and objectives of each make of the film, Streisand’s character relates more to the free women and power movement. Gaga and Cooper’s relationship focuses more on their equal love for music and each other, while outside forces try to tatter that purity. Watching their raw emotion on screen is thrilling, at times heartbreaking, and always breathtaking.

While their stories are extremely similar and the characters resemble each other, how their flaws are portrayed to the audience is what creates the difference between the two films.

Why you should watch: This movie is a definite must-watch no matter who you are. There is a stigma about girls loving cheesy romantic movies, but this love story is real and raw while creating problems that can actually happen and are not over exaggerated.

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About the Writer
Claire Mahoney, Author

Claire Mahoney is a senior writing for the In Between the Lines and In LFHS sections of the Forest Scout. Claire is a setter on the Varsity Volleyball...

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