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‘A Star Is Born’ Will Be Either the Best or Worst Movie of the Year

Based on the first trailer released Wednesday, the Bradley Cooper–Lady Gaga vehicle has all the trappings of your classic music drama—washed-up whiskey drinkers, budding talents, Sam Elliott—and it looks glorious

Have you ever read the plot synopsis for a movie and briefly considered whether it was originally a Saturday Night Live skit? Consider this: There’s a movie coming out this October that is [deep breath] the remake of a Barbra Streisand remake of a Judy Garland remake of a 1937 film of the same name and stars Bradley Cooper as a washed Father John Misty type and Lady Gaga, who is trying her darndest not to let you recognize her as Lady Gaga and referring to herself as Stefani Germanotta rather than Lady Gaga as much as possible. It’s called A Star Is Born, and its first trailer dropped Wednesday. I still don’t believe this movie exists.

No, really: The film has had a tumultuous production history—not The Man Who Killed Don Quixote levels of bad, but it’s been in development long enough that there was once a time when A Star Is Born was rumored to be a Tom Cruise–BEYONCÉ (!!!) vehicle. Instead, we have … a (presumably) inebriated Bradley Cooper staring at mid-musical-performance Lady Gaga like she’s the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Bradley Cooper in ‘A Star Is Born’ All screengrabs via Warner Bros.

I’m losing all my bearings here: A Star Is Born is destined to be either an awards season darling or a Razzie Awards nominee—there will be no in between! It will also, assuredly, be a gritty biopicesque music drama. All the trappings are here. There’s ...

1. A Talented Musician Battling Personal Demons

It’s unclear why, exactly, Cooper’s Jackson Maine (we can, and will, call him Father Jackson Maine), has, as the plot synopsis describes, “internal demons,” but he sure as heck has ’em. It takes fewer than 25 seconds for the trailer to show Maine drinking straight out of a fifth of whiskey.

GIF of Bradley Cooper opening a bottle of whiskey

That is certainly foreboding!

2. A Struggling, Up-and-Coming Artist Yearning for the Spotlight

Enter Lady Gaga as Ally, who has “just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer,” before being discovered by Maine and coaxed into stardom. Will Maine be saved from his demons by Ally, or will Ally be ensnared by Maine and his leathery, whiskey-bruised face? That question will be at the crux of A Star Is Born. I know this because I’ve seen movies.

3. A Musician Writing Down Lyrics

GIF of Lady Gaga writing song lyrics

And she didn’t even need a Diet Coke for inspiration!

4. Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott holding Bradley Cooper’s face

I initially assumed that Elliott’s character plays Maine’s father—not just because of the age difference, but because a really cool Southern version of Bradley Cooper would have Sam Elliott as his dad. However, Elliott is Bobby, the “benevolent manager” of Maine and Ally.

Unfortunately, Maine and Bobby don’t seem to have a good relationship, as it appears Cooper punches him near the end of the trailer.

GIF of Bradley Cooper punching Sam Elliott

Not to worry. Based on this scene from Road House, I feel confident that Elliott can take that punch.

5. Performance Montages

Fun fact: A Star Is Born’s original songs were performed and recorded live at Coachella. I really hope someone showed up to the filming thinking it was just a Lady Gaga thing, and all of sudden Bradley Cooper walked out like a fourth member of Lady Antebellum.

Bradley Cooper singing onstage

6. … Dave Chappelle in a Tank Top?!

Dave Chappelle wearing a white tank top

OK, now that is original!

A Star Is Born, which will be the best or worst movie of 2018, arrives in theaters October 5.