Lady Gaga scores a triumph in ‘A Star is Born’ – SF Chronicle Datebook

Directed by Bradley Cooper and co-starring Cooper and Lady Gaga, this “A Star Is Born” is the fourth cinematic version of this story, dating to  1937. Counting the latest, it has produced three superior movies, not just good but very good, the best probably being the Judy Garland-James Mason edition of 1954, and the only disappointment being the 1976 version with Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand. Both a romance and a showbiz story, the new version finds Cooper as a substance-abusing rock star who discovers, nurtures and falls in love with a young talent, played by Lady Gaga, who is just terrific here. Her  acting is fine, and her singing inspires awe, rather like Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard.” The movie has an electrifying first hour and then becomes a bit sluggish. Still, Gaga scores a real triumph, in the sort of movie that, despite some undeniable flaws, has some fairy dust on it.
“A Star is Born” is playing at Bay Area theaters.

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