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Seasoned musician Jackson (Bradley Cooper) discovers – and falls in love with – struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight at one of his gigs. But as Ally’s career takes off, Jack’s personal demons take hold of him. Becoming convinced that Ally is allowing her manager to sanitise her message and music, Jack becomes distant and struggles with alcoholism. All the while, Ally stays loyal while trying to support their relationship and grow her career.

This is a classic tale (indeed the fourth version of this particular story to make it to film) of one person’s rise being mirrored by the mentor’s decline. It involves themes such as love, jealousy, regret and addiction.

This clip takes place after Ally and Jackson’s previous chance encounter. Having become rather smitten with Ally, Jackson has arranged for a private jet to fly her to his gig. Unbeknown to Ally, Jackson has spent the day practising the song she sang to him in private the night before, and has arranged for it to be played in front of a live audience. Inviting her onto the stage, Jackson encourages Ally to show the crowd her skill and ability. The clip sees Ally grow in confidence as she takes to the stage to sing her song and embrace her skills. (Note: there is some swearing in this clip, though it is fairly inaudible due to the crowd noise.)



After showing the clip as a stimulus, break into small discussion groups (you may wish to have a designated leader in each group to facilitate the conversation) and discuss the following questions. To add further discussion potential, hand out copies of the lyrics to ‘Shallow’, the song featured in the clip:

  • What do you think the song is about? How might it be interpreted?
  • How do you think Ally was feeling throughout the clip? At what point do you think she started to believe in herself?
  • Which requirements need to be met for someone to be successful in their chosen career or interest?
  • Is Jackson being selfish in this clip?

After discussing the first set of questions, read through Matthew 5:14- 16 (reading from the start of the chapter would be better if time allows, and you may want give the context first) and return to your groups to discuss the next set of questions:

  • What do you think Jesus means in this passage?
  • Could this passage be used to encourage us to follow our passions and dreams?
  • Why is verse 16 so important?
  • What is the message regarding our egos? • How would the local community be changed if we lived out Jesus’ message here?

If you have the time, why not watch the whole of A Star is Born to see the clip in context? Just make sure you have some tissues ready for the end!

Supporting documents

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