A Star is Born Reviews
The most financially successful version of this particular tale, previously made in 1937 (with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March) and 1954 (with Judy Garland and James Mason) where the protagonist was an actress. It was also remade in India as 'Aashiqui 2' (2013) and inspired Malaysia's 'Bharatham' (1991). 'Up Close & Personal' (1996), with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer, followed a similar premise centred on television news anchors.
The soundtrack moves me. Great flick. Huge improvement over Judy Garland's version which went on and on and on.
This remake, starring Barbra Streisand, is a fantastic remake that suits the time perfectly. Society was a little out of the Broadway and musical movie era and it moved over to the rock and roll music era which started the introduction of the Grammy awards in 1959 and with Woodstock in 1969. This was a new age of mainstream pop culture with rebellious teens, braless women, and rock and roll seemed to be the only loved type of music.
With all of this, Barbra Streisand was at the top of her game. Some people may have even known her as the next Judy Garland. She was the perfect choice to play Esther.
Kris Kristofferson plays John, a rebellious and lazy alcoholic rock and roll star in a band. He is one the majorly popular music stars during the time in this film. He meets Esther (Barbra) at a nightclub as she is singing lead on the small stage. He is won over by her and they come together by chance after they both escape the club after a bar fight commenced that John was partially responsible for.
Eventually, John gets Esther in at his studio to record an album of hers to try and get her the fame and success that she has always dreamed of.
Esther becomes a raging success and John becomes just a memory.
I greatly enjoyed this film and the many connections and similarities that it shares with the Garland version. I believe the 1954 version is slightly better, mostly because of the endings.
The 1954 version's was simple yet went off with a bang. Garland was very distraught and did not want to sing at her next show. But her friend said that she must even though she is said, because that is how she would keep the memory of Norman alive. She introduced herself as Mrs. Norman Maine and the film ended with the audience's standing ovation.
The 1976 version's was too long in comparison. We saw that Esther was very sad over the death of John but it seemed like she was ok to sing again right away, despite the tragedy. Then she sang for about 7 minutes. I enjoyed it, but I feel like I was forced to enjoy it.
Barbra I love you.
A Star is Born, I give you an 80%.