A Star Is Born: Bradley Cooper displays confidence in telling this old showbiz story (of course, it’s not of lack of references he would fail). The title is in fact a misnomer, as the focus falls on the pre-existing star, not the new one, and the film gains for it, as that character is more interesting. Nevertheless, the film is more touching in the first part of the journey. Another benefit is the caliber of acting: Cooper is quite solid as the broken man, channeling his castmate Sam Elliott’s vocal cadences, and also sings rather well. Lady Gaga’s performance, by the other hand, leans towards the manneristic and feels too self-aware; all that works very well for the musical numbers, but not for the dramatic bits. The many songs are hit-and-miss (somewhat on purpose), the high point being the duet “Shallow”. The film is beautifully shot by director of photography Matthew Libatique, who creates a distinctive look with a mix of long takes, some unusual framing and a lot of color. However, that style puts some pressure on editor Jay Cassidy, who needs to sometimes make peculiar cut-aways (probably to find a better acting take).