Denis Villeneuve might have taken the year off from releasing his own movies, but the filmmaker was actively watching films in 2018 and, like nearly everyone else around the world, he fell madly in love with Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born.” As part of Variety’s Directors on Directors series, Villeneuve wrote a love letter to the film, which has recently picked up major nominations from the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
“The North American premiere of ‘A Star Is Born’ was like nothing I’d seen before,” Villeneuve writes. “It wasn’t a normal screening. It was a rock concert. Several times during the movie, the audience cheered and erupted into loud applause. They were, or course, responding to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s electrifying performances. But something else was at work.”
Villeneuve continued, “You can’t cheat when you sing. You are either on key or you’re off. There is no subterfuge. The same goes with romance. Watching ‘A Star Is Born,’ I felt I had just witnessed a pure act of cinema where life and a movie’s very own central subject were mirroring themselves through a superb love story.”
“A Star Is Born” marked Cooper’s feature directional debut, which is mind-blowing to Villeneuve. “It is hard to believe that this movie is the work of a first-time director,” the “Blade Runner 2049” director raved. “The level of precision of camera work and mise-en-scene are truly impressive. The artistic choices Bradley Cooper made are those of a filmmaker in total control of his medium.
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Villeneuve finished his tribute by writing, “I deeply loved ‘A Star Is Born.’ No doubt for me, this movie marks the birth of a great director.”
Following the release of “Blade Runner 2049” last year, Villeneuve is gearing up to start production on his “Dune” remake in 2019. The director has cast Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name. IndieWire recently confirmed Villeneuve will be working with cinematographer Greg Friaser on the film.
“A Star Is Born” is now playing in theaters nationwide. Read Villeneuve’s full tribute to Cooper’s film here.