Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A Star Is Born (2018) Trailer Reaction

Warner Bros. Pictures
Set to make his directorial debut with an ambitious remake of stardom, love, and loss, Bradley Cooper transforms a love story about an alcoholic musician who falls head over heels for an undiscovered star destined to rise to the top. Their relationship is put through the test as his spotlight fades away into the background as her acclaim rises.

After spending years in development hell, Cooper and Lady Gaga are taking La La Land by storm. Is the movie going to be worth the hype? I know all the feels I'm already having, but let's look at the trailer! (This post contains a spoiler dealing with the story of the older films that might have an affect on this one.)
I'm not crying, you're crying...no wait, I am crying.

Though I've been excited for a lot of trailers in the past, like can't-wait-to-buy-my-ticket-and-see-superheroes-wizards-secret-agents-kick-ass-excited, it's been a long time since I've felt truly emotional about an upcoming movie. Maybe it's my subtle love of Bradley Cooper and the soft part I have in my heart for how Silver Linings Playbook trailer helped me survive community college, or the way Gaga's vocals hit halfway through, or the story, or the cinematography, but this trailer is just so damn beautiful.

A Star Is Born is not a typical 'franchise' or 'series' that has an intensely loyal fanbase. It's a story that's been transformed over and over with the original dating back to 1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March. The next two remakes (my personal favorite) Judy Garland and James Mason in 1954, and Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand in 1976. Over the decades, the trio of movies have become their own little series. What's so wonderful about this latest addition is that it's not merely modernizing the story for younger audiences, but recreating its own alternative tumultuous, beautiful version. I'm fascinated to see how the full movie will be its own thing, perhaps include easter eggs from the earlier renditions (some I point out below), and the electric chemistry between Cooper and Lady Gaga. If their passion project is anything like the reverence they have for each other, this might be a lightning-in-a-bottle kind of movie.

0:02 - Baby it’s time to let the old ways die / It takes a lot to change, it takes a lot to try
* They filmed a lot of the music scenes in front of real audiences at festivals around the world. I'm stunned by the confidence in both Cooper and Gaga had in each other to sing live.
0:08 - Cooper has me at the beard and long hair, not gonna lie.
0:12 - that sense of loneliness after performing in front of people UGH
0:17 -he's getting pushed out to perform or just getting a slap on the back?!
0:21 - a hint of his alcoholism
0:25 - "From director Bradley Cooper" that's so good to see YAS KING
0:28 - another hint that Jackson isn't just an alcoholic but going deaf/suffering from tinnitus
0:33 - he's playing in front of a small bar crowd again, maybe recreating a feeling he's lost since shooting to superstardom
0:35 - best supporting nominations for Dave Chappelle?
0:40 - A.A. meeting


0: 42 - THE QUEEN
0: 43 - "Can I ask you a personal question?" - "Okay," the hesitation in her voice.
0:46 - she slays with her vocals LORD HELP like he's never head anything like her before
0:49 - Tell me something good as she looks at him THAT LOOK HE GIVES HER
1:02 - writing the dark with her iphone
1:05 - "Almost every single person has told me that they like the way I sounded but they didn't like the way I looked" oh yeah, this is personal
1:07 - "I think you're beautiful" aw crap
* "Ally thinks her nose is too big (or so she’s been told), but Jackson thinks it’s beautiful — and, of course, he’s right." - Variety, (link contains spoilers) but this quote's a nod to Gaga vs the industry and also of a scene of the 1954 version with Judy Garland shading Warner Bros for putting a cap on her nose and trying to make her look prettier ( I can't find a clip of it)
1:11  - "I just want to take a good look at you." - another throwback
1:13 - I've fallen in all of the good times / I've found myself longing for change
1:16 - that little spin she makes like her life's finally changing for the better

1:21 - The look on her face as she sees him perform
1: 26 - "Here's what we're going to do, you're gonna come sing that song I love." AW, hell no.
1:31 - "Look at me. All you gotta do is trust me. That's all you gotta do." Um, okay YEAH SURE.
* Love the use of sound design between silence and deafening sounds of the crowds/music.
1:38 - the way she walks out onto stage scared ****less
1:41  - them on the empty stage together
1:45 - those lyrics she's writing, obviously inspired by Jackson and her life
1:46 - AHHHHHHHAWWWWHHHHAAAWWWWHHHHWWAHHHAHHHHHHH

1:47 - As good as everything gets, look at how fast it all fades away
1: 53 - Jackson's holding Ally back from some sort of fight in a bar
1: 54 - that one tear streaming down Ally's face = iconic, probably takes place during their wedding
1:55 - the great Sam Elliot playing Jackson's brother playing his frustrated manager
1:56 - Gaga headbanging is my new aesthetic
2: 00 - that smile on his face during a gig
2: 02 - the way Bradley looks at her - is he in character or is that just him?! If Jackson has tinnitus, he gets to hear her voice before he goes completely deaf. GAWD.
2:03 - she punches her hand into a picture frame and what is he telling her?!?
2: 04 - the Grammys?
2: 06 - a bunch of stuff happens at 2:06, but overall Cooper's version is following the Kris/Barbra version more, where it looks like they might be going to the Grammys where she wins all of the awards and he's more of a back-up artist in a tribute; he might sleep with a journalist who's trying to get an exclusive with him. Most notably Jackson is swimming and his friends are pulling him up as he looks intoxicated. In the 1937 and 1954 film versions, Maine commits suicide by drowning, but in the 1976 version he dies in a car accident listening to Ally's music.... so I don't know how it's going to end except probably leaving me a ball of emotions.

We're far from the shallow now
One of my favorite shots of the whole trailer - the tour bus (aka) takes up most of the frame while Jackson and Ally wrap their arms around each other SEND HELP

A Star Is Born swept away acclaim at the Venice Film Festival. From Lady Gaga arriving to the red carpet like the true queen she's always been, to the eight-minute standing ovation, the film literally knocked the electricity out. I don't know if a film has ever received a reception like this at such a prestige premiere event, but this movie might just make the next Oscars season exciting again.

To me, this whole trailer is an emotional symphony; hinting at the difficulty Jackson Maine is experiencing, escaping into a small bar, and finding a bigger talent than he ever anticipated; putting his faith in her and hers in him that they fall in love, but it's not entirely the dream fairytale romance; there's pain and heartbreak; joy and love; but most of all, these two together for better or worst. MY HEART. OKAY, someone's gonna have to pick up off the nasty movie theater floor.

A Star Is Born hits the high notes in theaters October 4th, 2018.

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