A Star Is Born ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

“i thought maybe you’d find it when you came back to you, maybe”

i’ve been trying to nail down why i can’t fully enjoy this, but tonight i figured out that there’s definitely more than one reason (some of which i’m still thinking through)

a big one is how ally’s character is treated: she’s the only woman in the main cast, and she’s not fully fleshed out at all. we hardly know her first name until the crowd at jackson’s concert is screaming it, and she doesn’t have a last name until she takes his. we know that she has talent and a dream, and that she falls madly in love with him, but by the second half of the film we rarely see her perspective at all. we hear about jackson’s past often, but ally almost never speaks about herself unless it’s about her nose or her music. the movie hints at her “selling out” when she becomes increasingly famous, but that storyline is never actually finished because we never see her side of it. he makes fun of her new music in a scene where they fight, but who’s to say how much of her music is completely and totally her, and how much is industry influence via her manager? and jack claims she has to hold on tight to herself, be true, be honest, say something, and then find herself once again, but was she ever lost to begin with? or do we only think she sold out because he judges her new musical style, and we’re now only looking at her from his weary and jealous eyes? we never see her side of it, besides her excitement about fame, and her love and anguish with him, because the script sidesteps what it built up to only focus on his tragic life

this isn’t me being angry just because she’s a woman, but because she’s presented as a “strong” and interesting female lead when the writing gives her no true room to flourish. first she’s wide eyed and swept off her feet and into a new life, and then she’s taken with fame, and by the end she’s left broken and alone. this may be a love story and a tragedy, but i don’t buy it. lady gaga gives one of the best performances of the year, but her character just isn’t written like she should have been

i do have fun with the first act at the very least, but it seems i have too many bones to pick with the whole movie to let them go and fully enjoy it. i wish i could, but i’m left thinking about all the reasons it’s not clicking for me. i’m gonna stop complaining and leave my rating where it is for now because i do like the first act and soundtrack and performances a lot, even if the film does nothing for me by the end and i’m left rolling my eyes. and i can’t get shallow out of my head

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