Movie review of november : A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born is about two musicians, Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper) and Ally (played by a real musician, Lady Gaga). They meet each other in a bar just after one of Jackson’s concert. He is well established while she just sings in some bar but he will give her a chance on stage after hearing her. From there will start a big ascension for her, upstaging Jackson.

Bradley Cooper is a well-known actor for his leading roles in Very Bad Trip in 2009, Happiness Therapy in 2012 or more recently in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper in 2014. Again, he does a very good job, so does Lady Gaga for her first leading role in a fiction movie. Besides acting, Bradley Cooper, being the director and co-writer, signs his first movie. The story is based on a novel by William Wellman and the 1976’s A Star Is Born. Last but not least, cinematography has been made by the great Matthew Libatique who also filmed Black Swan in 2010 and Requiem For A Dream in 2000.

We can easily divide it in two parts (be aware of spoilers in this paragraph): the meeting, the romance, the Jackson’s fame and Ally’s discovery to the public with duet songs on one hand; and on the another hand, the decline of Jackson in his illness, the beginning of Ally’s songwriting and singing carrier in a completely different style (not necessarily understood by Jackson by the way) and the decline of Jackson’s fame.

The first part was really good: beautiful to see and experience with catchy and impressive songs, but I kind of disliked the second one. I’ve found it a little too much predictable and chatty and noted a decrease in the music scenes’ quality. It was very linear without much surprise and the urge to explain everything happening on screen bored me sometimes. However, don’t let it dissuade you from watching it if you want to see a light romance and listen to rock or pop music with the quality of a cinema’s equipment.

You can see it this week at La Nef or Pathé Echirolles.

A festival celebrating mountains

During the last 9 and 10 November, the 5th edition of the « Rencontres Montagnes & Sciences » event took place at the Palais des Sports in Grenoble. This annual event, which attracts hundreds of visitors each year, provides an opportunity to discover how and why mountains are studied by scientists.

About ten films were screened during the two days and each of them dealt with a different subject ; astronomy, volcanoes or melting ice for example, each of them being linked to mountains and the usefulness they bring to scientists for their research. In addition to the screening of documentaries, some experiments were carried out on stage. Mathieu Barthelemy, a researcher at the Institut de planétologie et d’astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), thus created an aurora borealis in front of the amazed spectators while explaining how he managed to do it and more generally how the northern lights were formed.

This event was part of another one – « Rencontres Ciné Montagnes » – which took place from November 6 to 10 during which visitors had the opportunity to discover a wide variety of areas related to the mountain. The whole event gathered nearly 20,000 people and different fields such as music, art and science were promoted through movies. As it was the 20th anniversary of the event, exclusive workshops were held this year. For instance, it was possible to suggest a script idea to directors Christophe Raylat and Pierre Petit in order to obtain recommendations from them. In addition, a paid workshop was set up for the first time to learn more about photography and cinematography techniques.

In short, this event allows people to discover the mountain and everything it is linked with for a very low price. And if you missed it, don’t make the same mistake next year!