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John Gillispie:‘A Star is Born’ and Oscar highlights

February 28, 2019

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on ABC’s telecast of the Academy Awards and the movie “A Star is Born,” which is rated R and is available on DVD.

I had been waiting for “A Star is Born,” which stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, to be released on DVD and was able to view the movie before Sunday night’s telecast of the Academy Awards on ABC.

I appreciated the first half of “A Star is Born” the most as successful musician Jackson Maine (Cooper) meets Ally (Lady Gaga) by chance and the two begin a romance that I found very believable.

The second half of the film, which is directed by Cooper, focuses more on Ally’s rise to stardom and the couple running into problems.

In addition to struggling with addiction issues, Jackson doesn’t like the direction that Ally’s career is taking her. It was interesting to compare the new film to the 1976 version of “A Star is Born,” which stars Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and see the ways the movies are similar and how they differ.

I found the performance of the duet “Shallow” to be both a highlight of the movie and the Academy Award telecast. It was fun to see how excited and happy Lady Gaga was when she won the Oscar for Original Song for “Shallow.” Interestingly, Streisand’s “Evergreen” earned her an Oscar for 1976′s “A Star as Born” as well.

It was a surprise for me to see Olivia Colman win the Oscar in Glenn Close’s Actress in a Leading Role category as I had hoped to see Close take home the Academy Award. However, Colman’s performance is very good in “The Favourite.”

Having followed Regina King’s career for many years, I was happy to see her win the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role for “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

There has been a lot of attention given to the fact that this year’s Academy Award telecast did not have a host. There were so many famous presenters and some of them were able to add some humor to the program, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the awards program continue without a host next year.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.