A Star Is Born ★★★½

Bradley Cooper’s calling card as director is an amalgamation of shrewd choices, starting with the decision to break onto the scene with the fourth cinematic iteration of this narrative.  Sure, casting himself in the male lead is a bit of a crutch; but casting Lady Gaga, who has only gradually stripped away all of her masks since beginning her reign as the queen of pop, ends up being inspired enough to redeem.