Some old stories have a knack for finding new ways to be told. In 1937, William A. Wellman's classic Hollywood rise-and-fall romance A Star Is Born was screened at the fifth Venice International Film Festival, where it was nominated for - though didn't win - the Best Foreign Film award. The next March, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won one - Best Writing, Original Story.
Wellman's film would be remade twice in the following four decades - first as a musical by George Cukor in 1954, starring James Mason and Judy Garland (six Oscar nods, no wins), and again in a rock-and-roll milieu by Frank Pierson in 1976, with Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand (four nods, one win - for Best Original Song, of course). Back in Venice this year, A Star Is Born was born again: this time starring Bradley Cooper and Stefani Germanotta, aka pop star Lady Gaga, as a boozy rocker and his lover-stroke-protege.
As is often the way at Venice, the film's Oscar potential became an instant talking point. Nominations for Best Picture, Director, Lead and Supporting Actor and Lead Actress categories all seem likely. And trust me that Shallow, the film's chandelier-shattering signature ballad, has best original song sewn up.
But as well as an awards-season front-runner, the film feels like a sure-fire hit - two categories that haven't coincided often of late. A recent study by the New York Times found that in the past 30 years, only four Best Picture-winners were also the most popular release that year: Rain Man, Forrest Gump, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
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An Oscar season led by box-office hits is a story Hollywood will be glad to tell again. But in order for films like A Star Is Born to win awards, you have to make them first. If 2019 proves to be the year the Oscars re-embrace the mainstream, it will be because the studios gave them a mainstream to embrace.