Provokr Pick: Gaga’s Time

Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga In A Star Is Born

BY: Zak Wojnar; Editor Claire Connors

Movie remakes are all the rage these days, but it’s easy to forget that Hollywood’s obsession with repetition is nothing new. Remakes aren’t new, and they’re certainly not a passing fad. Whether we’re aware of it or not, movies aren’t great because they create new stories; they are great because they provide fresh twists on familiar stories, telling old tales in new ways, with each writer, director, and actor leaving their own signature on the resultant films.

Some tales are timeless and can be told again and again. A Star is Born is one such story. The original 1937 film, about a young actress who is taken under the wing of an established star, whom she ultimately surpasses in fame, set a template which would be followed by no fewer than three official remakes. The first, in 1954, starred Judy Garland and James Mason. The second, in 1976, is considered to be one of the greatest films of the decade. Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand had palpable on-screen chemistry. Now, a third remake is out, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

Bradley Cooper pulls double duty as both director and star, and Lady Gaga is making a push for Hollywood stardom in her role as the hungry singer/songwriter. Gaga also wrote original music for the film. There’s a lot at stake for these two leads; Gaga has acted before (notably in American Horror Story), but this is her opportunity to truly emerge as an A-list actor to compliment her musical prowess. If the film succeeds, she’ll firmly be in Madonna territory as an all-time great superstar of our time. Meanwhile, the film is Cooper’s opportunity to earn as much acclaim for behind the camera as he has as an actor.

The film has an eclectic supporting cast, including two notable stand-up comedians in serious dramatic roles. Dave Chappelle‘s racially-charged comedy is beloved by millions, and his sketch comedy show, the aptly-titled Chappelle’s Show, was one of the biggest shows to ever air on Comedy Central. Meanwhile, Andrew Dice Clay is infamous for his raunchy stand-up act and outrageous personality from the 1980s, but has recently made a name for himself as a convincing character actor, thanks to his role in Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine.

A Star is Born is earning rave reviews from critics and is poised to make a strong showing at the box office. With awards season right around the corner, it’s a sure bet that the film will have long legs at the box office and rake in a ton of money for distributor Warner Bros, and it has a strong chance at cleaning up at the Academy Awards. Awards buzz and mass appeal don’t always go hand-in-hand, but A Star Is Born could be that rare mix of timeless romance and crowd-pleasing musical drama which translates to both box office gold and awards season success.

A Star Is Born is in theaters now.