It’s a movie moment we have literally seen many variations of before. After all, Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born is the fourth Hollywood movie to bear that title (not to mention the many knockoffs). Be that as it may, I can vouch that the moment where Cooper’s gruffly lovable (and inebriated) Jackson Maine coerces his fledgling romantic partner, Ally (Lady Gaga), to come on stage and sing a song she’s written… is the stuff of movie magic.
This is due to a number of aspects. As we relayed in our A Star is Born review, Cooper’s movie is like a stripped down, acoustic cover of the often glitzy and gaudy Hollywood myth borne from the original 1937 film of the same name. He cuts down to the yarn’s raw authenticity and earnest grace note. All of that comes together in a scene that is not a “surprise,” but merely a cathartic release of Ally finally getting the stage that was always hers. And she seizes her moment.
The other reason that the sequence is so impressive, however, is because the song that she sings in this moment, “Shallow,” is a song that the real Lady Gaga co-wrote. And it is pop music ear candy. Harkening back to Gaga’s days as a singer and songwriter, before she was the “Fame Monster,” the song showcases Ally’s on-screen skill and Gaga’s off-screen one. A clear ballad anthem, that Cooper’s Jackson miraculously was able to pick out well enough from one verse being sung to him in a parking lot by Ally, it is designed by the characters and creators to be a moment for Gaga to crush the big screen. And she does. Listen to the below full song for proof.
This is the first destined-to-be hit song recorded from A Star is Born. It will not be the last. The film is a shameless throwback to old school Hollywood melodrama by way of modern, naturalistic sensibilities, and it will play very well for almost any audience. The film also stars Sam Elliot and Dave Chappelle, and will be released on Oct. 5. You can read more about it right here.