Whenever I ran into Bradley Cooper
on the “A Star Is Born
” promo trail — a cocktail party in Toronto, the premiere in Los Angeles, the American Cinematheque tribute, the AFI Awards, the Oscar nominee lunch — he was eager to talk about his movie. But between the rapturous response to the backstage musical update back in the early fall (final Metascore: 88) and earning eight Oscar nominations last month, the excited buzz around the picture peaked and waned.
Many an early frontrunner faces that risk over a long Oscar campaign. And Warner Bros.
, which always puts box-office performance ahead of awards, refused to foreground the film’s depiction of addiction to lend gravitas to their commercial entertainment. In any case, Cooper isn’t gathering as much credit as he deserves for diving off a high board and executing “A Star Is Born
” so well.
This big-budget glossy studio picture with major movie