There are many things to love about A Star is Born. Judy Garland's fabulous singing talent is on full display. The script is witty, clever, truthful, and in some ways very daring in its exposure of the Hollywood experience (particularly the studio experience). However, as much as I am bowled over by Garland's singing, it gets in the way of the story in several places. As the viewer is just beginning to suspend belief and think of Judy as Esther Blodgett or Vicki Lester, she lets us know that she's Judy Garland again through some show stopper of a number. I understand that Judy and her husband produced this movie as a comeback vehicle for her, but had they showed a little more restraint, it would have been a better movie, I think. The other part of the movie deals with two adults who fall in love. Both people are flawed, particularly Norman Maine (James Mason), but the depth and complexity of these two characters (particularly Mason's character) and their screen chemistry is something to behold. Off the screen, Mason and Garland became very close and Mason delivered the eulogy at Garland's funeral. In summary, I wish there had been more balance between Judy the star singer and Vicki/Norman, a couple desperately in love and doomed to fail, because it's the latter than brings the poignancy to the film. Mason did an outstanding job of keeping the "couple" story line compelling to the tragic end. He provided the romantic bitterness that's needed to keep this film on its tragic trajectory - although many of his scenes toward the end of the movie are so raw and emotional, they are hard to watch. I had to keep reminding myself, "it's just a movie".
2 out of 5 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.