Like a dog-cloning, multi-millionaire doula, Barbra Streisand has blessed the Bradley Cooper remake of her 1976 movie, “A Star Is Born.”
Streisand, as aspiring rockstar Esther Hoffman, saw “A Star Is Born” through its third iteration — the musical extravaganza began in 1937 as a movie starring Janet Gaynor. It was remade in 1954 as a vehicle for Judy Garland, then in ‘76 with Streisand, and a fourth version, starring pop-star Lady Gaga, will be released on October 5.
And luckily for us, Streisand was present at the birth of the Cooper-Gaga blockbuster, and comes bearing good news: She’s a fan. She told Billboard:
“I haven’t seen the full cut, but it’s very good. Every time that film is made it’s a success. I loved Judy Garland’s version, I like this one a lot, and I liked mine.”
In the spirit of l’dor v’dor — l’diva v’diva — we hope to see Janet Gaynor rise from the grave and demand to know why Babs didn’t have good words to say about her version. Otherwise, we think this is pretty darn diplomatic.
Speaking of liking yourself, we’re here to note that every time “A Star Is Born” has been made, it has been made by Jews. The original was written by Dorothy Parker and produced by David O. Selznick. Garland’s was written by Moss Hart, adapted from Parker’s screenplay. To top it off, it was directed by Jewish second-generation American George Cukor. Streisand’s had her starring as “Esther Hoffman” — enough said. And Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” has a screenplay co-written by Eric Roth, the Jewish Oscar winner behind “Forrest Gump.”
Our Barbra, who interacts with interviewers the way cool grandmothers speak to their grandchildren on the phone while chain-smoking, told Billboard:
Lady Gaga, I call her Stefani, well, you know, she was a success already. But she’s the same age – she’s 32 I think, and I was 33 when I made that movie. But it’s good! It should have been made in the ’90s. I thought it was going to be [redone] – I was offered to direct it but I thought, “Well, been there, done that.” [At one point] it was going to be with rap music and a black cast, and then Beyonce [was attached]. But the story will always work and it’s working again.
Oh, Barbra! For us, her star is born again, and again, and again.
Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny