When it was first released, the latest iteration of A Star Is Born seemed poised to conquer the Oscars with its blend of melodrama and catchy songs about swimming pool safety. It was both a crowd-pleaser and a pretty good movie, like Titanic if Rose could sing and Jack mumbled incoherently like Jeff Bridges on Demerol. A lot of journalists predicted awards glory for Bradley Cooper's debut.
But then things took a turn. First it lost the Golden Globe to Bohemian Rhapsody -- less a movie and more like if a Greatest Hits CD somehow gained sentience and wrote a screenplay. Now Gold Derby has A Star Is Born's Best Picture odds at 8/1, behind Green Book and Roma and tied with Black Panther. So what happened? Well, we have a theory about that ...
Remember, A Star Is Born is a remake -- and not just of one movie. There are three previous versions of this story. And the median age of the Academy voters is 62. Of the 6,000 members, only 14 percent are under 50. So a lot of these codgers were around for the 1976 version, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and probably the Judy Garland classic from 1954 as well. And they may have even caught the 1937 original. Which means SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS they've seen the lead male character kill himself a bunch of times.
To put it in terms modern audiences can understand, remember how when Spider-Man was rebooted, we all expressed our displeasure at having to watch poor Uncle Ben's murder yet again? Yeah, that only happened twice (well, technically three times, since there was a flashback in Spider-Man 3).
And when Batman v. Superman hit theaters, fans were similarly annoyed to once again witness the Wayne parents being gunned down in Crime Alley. But even that has only been shown in three movies. So imagine watching the same guy off himself four goddamn times -- more if you count What Price Hollywood?, the 1932 flick that was so similar to the 1937 A Star Is Born that the studio considered suing. That's five times that cinephiles have had to watch variations of this poor character die by gunshot, hanging, or just wandering into the ocean. While a lot of Cooper's movie is fresh, original, and inexplicably Alec Baldwin-y, the tragic ending may be depressingly familiar for a lot of older viewers.
In any case, you'll have to tune in to the Oscars to find out what happens ... unless any more controversies get piled on to the garbage heap that is this year's ceremony, causing the almost century-old institution to collapse like a dying star.
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