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Ranking Every Version of "A Star is Born"

Bradley Cooper's remake of A Star is Born just hit theatres, so I thought it would be a good time to share how I'd rank the many different versions of this story. The story is rooted in a somewhat cynical idea that for every star that is born, one has to die. But perhaps why Hollywood likes it enough to remake it three times is that the older star helps the newer star's career, and that in the end, the newer star pays tribute to the older star by taking his name. It's a story about Hollywood whose darkness is masked as romantic melodrama. With that in my mind, here's my ranking:

NOTE: I did not include What Price Hollywood?, a 1932 film starring Constance Bennett with a very similar premise because it is not credited as official source material on any version. It's pretty good though and definitely worth checking out - it's currently available to stream on FimStruck, as are the '37, '54, and '76 A Star is Borns.

4. A Star is Born (1976) The only ve…
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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Shine in "A Star is Born": Review

Film Review: A Star is BornThis is what Hollywood does best. A timeless story told with big emotions and big drama. Bradley Cooper's new version of A Star is Born is everything I hoped it would be. It is, without question, one of the very best movies of the year.

The original 1937 version starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, and was previously remade in 1954 starring Judy Garland and James Mason, and again in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The 2018 version has Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directs. The story is that a star battling alcoholism meets a young ingenue and their romance develops as her star rises and his star fades. The version this one shares the most DNA with is '76 (though this one is much better), as it retains that movie's innovation of switching the setting to the music industry rather than the movie industry. It also directly lifts the scene from '76 where the female character puts makeup on the male character while in …

"A Simple Favor" is an Offbeat Little Thriller that Adeptly Wields the Talents of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively: Review

Film Review: A Simple Favor There's a sub-genre that Hollywood has brought back in the aftermath of the massive success of David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl a few years back; the domestic thriller, usually based on a best-selling novel and usually starring a woman. Other entrants in the genre include The Girl on the Train, the upcoming The Woman in the Window, and Paul Feig's new movie A Simple Favor. I am a huge proponent of the domestic thriller, as I love twisty and often fun mysteries that also have room for some social satire. With a script by Jessica Sharzer adapted from the Darcey Bell novel, A Simple Favor offers up everything I love about the genre in exciting and unexpected new ways. 
The movie stars Blake Lively as a gorgeous, sophisticated, and deeply unhappy mother who befriends a put-together mommy vlogger (Anna Kendrick), who plays detective when Lively's character suddenly disappears.Although it shares many similarities with Gone Girl,A Simple Favo…

A Very Female Kind of Rage: The Women of "Sharp Objects"

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ALL OF SHARP OBJECTS TO FOLLOW 
Sharp Objects, the HBO miniseries based on the Gillian Flynn novel, concluded its eight-episode on Sunday night with a killer installment that included one heck of a twist ending: Amma (Eliza Scanlen) is the person responsible for the killings that Camille (Amy Adams) was sent back to Wind Gap to report on. This series was a lot of things; a slow-burn mystery, an intense character study, and depiction of self-harm, a showcase for terrific actors, a perfect vehicle for Jean-Marc Vallée's trademark dynamic editing style. And there is a lot I could say about it, but for now, I want to focus on how Flynn, Vallée, and Marti Noxon subvert expectations about the characters we think we know, and how easy it is to do so because of societal assumptions about women.

The set-up of Sharp Objects is close to perfect. Camille Preaker is a deeply damaged woman with problems with alcohol and a penchant for carving words into her body who must c…