With the Academy Awards ceremony inching closer, Sean Penn, the acclaimed actor-director is showering praise on Bradley Cooper and his Oscar-nominated directorial A Star Is Born. In a heartfelt letter written to Cooper and his film, Penn, who himself is a man of many talents, compared Cooper's filmmaking to the work of legendary director-editor Hal Ashby.
In a note to Deadline Penn wrote, “There are many really good films and performances nominated this year. There are also many perishable trend-pieces that, win or lose, will be lost to memory. In a fair world, A Star is Born sweeps the awards. It’s just such a gift. Clear minds and hearts cannot possibly deny it its due. It’s over and over again one of my favorite films of all time, harkening back to the essential filmmaking of Hal Ashby."
Penn also demystified the idea of award ceremonies determining the worth of a film, specifically in relation to Cooper’s A Star Is Born. "In the end, the apples and oranges of film competition, and the inequity of advertising budgets has always left the Academy Awards with some inevitable aftertaste of the alcohol most of us have to drink to get through them. To spare myself potential disappointment, I’m raising a glass in advance to Bradley Cooper and 'A Star is Born'. Surely a raised glass is as legitimate as a globe of gilded gold or a male statuette minus a penis (also gold gilded). God forbid it have balls this year," he added.
Earlier, Cooper’s former co-actor and Hollywood star Robert De Niro had admired A Star Is Born, terming the film and Cooper’s performance in it as excellent. Barbra Streisand, singer-songwriter and filmmaker, in an interview, had also praised Lady Gaga’s performance in the film.
A Star Is Born will contest in eight different categories at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards. Cooper and Gaga are both nominated for their lead acting performance in a motion picture. The film will also compete with 7 other films in the Best Film category, which includes the likes of Roma, Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody among others.
Since Penn has spoken out in favour of A Star Is Born, before the jury of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences draws up the final names, Jackson Maine (Cooper’s character in A Star Is Born) may start seeing his Best Director snub in a positive light. The Oscars will air on Sunday, February 24.
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