Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Star is Born

A young woman leaves her home for Hollywood where, after a series of disappointments and hardships, her career is given a lift thanks to the intervention of a fading, alcoholic star. As the two begin a courtship and eventually a marriage, the starlet's skyrocketing fame soon becomes too much for her now forgotten husband. Producer David O. Selznick and Director William William's Hollywood exposé surprisingly acerbic considering it came from a 1930s studio, and certainly more caustic than the 1954 George Cukor remake featuring Judy Garland and James Mason (although I think I favor that version). Here, Janet Gaynor as the green and starry eyed Esther and Frederic March as the suave but insecure Norman, both set the bar with excellent and moving performances. "A Star is Born" tells of two deeply felt individuals in a heartless industry, told in a stirring and romantic manner.