Sean Penn has decided to write an op-ed [via Deadline] defending his friend Bradley Cooper amidst his Best Director snub at the Oscars. Penn acknowledges that “A Star is Born” is most likely toast as far as winning Best Picture but that the film itself will stand the test of time and age like fine wine, at least when compared to some of the other nominees that “pander to the politics of the day,” according to the actor.
So, this is basically a well-written FYC ad from Penn to his bud Cooper, a final hail mary to help out his friend whose film has been on the sort of staggering downward spiral that is the stuff of Oscar nightmares?
How else can you explain lines such as: “It is the achievement of one artist who had the courage to stand naked and jump from the edge of a vertical cliff, bringing his whole cast and crew with him, and simultaneously catch their fall.” Yikes.
“In a fair world, “A Star is Born” sweeps the awards” says Penn in the op-ed,. “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. “
“A Star is Born is simply everything that movies should be. If we honor anything, this should be it.”
If you recall, way back in January of 2018 there seemed to have been a few private screenings of Bradley Cooper‘s film, which would only be released in October. Major celebs were already campaigning for it, trying to kickstart an Oscar campaign via word of mouth. Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, and Robert De Niro included.
Streisand: “Oh, I can’t say too much…I haven’t seen too much, but it’s good…it’s very, very good.”
Penn: “One of the most beautiful, fantastic, it’s the best, and most importantly commercial film I have seen in so many years”
De Niro: “It’s terrific and Bradley is excellent in it…the movie is wonderful…I hope it gets the attention I feel it should when it opens…Bradley learned to sing…he really worked hard and it paid off…you see all the hard work he did, it’s special.”
Back then I wrote:
“What is really going on here? Do we have the second coming of Bob Fosse being released this October? Or is this just friends helping a friend? We have no trailer whatsoever, I, in fact, couldn't care less for the film on paper for, but this advanced buzz has surely piqued my interest.”
It was all part of the plan to push the film down our throats come Oscar season. It didn’t work.