Maybe if this had been remade with La Diva Streisand in 1966 instead of 1976 things would be different, but that’s not the world we live in. Streisand’s version of A Star is Born, do you really think the credited writers (including Joan Didion!) and director Frank Pierson actually had a say in this vanity project?, is a towering achievement to Barbra’s ego at the expense of all else. Sure, any version of A Star is Born ultimately boils down to the two leads, but this one jettisons any and all semblance of supporting players and nearly throws out the male lead for good measure. Then again, whom would Streisand have to act against if he died too soon? Props to Kris Kristofferson’s leathery charisma and lived-in alcoholism here, he’s delivering an authentic and true performance in a notably artificial film opposite a co-star in full-on demanding diva mode. Streisand’s a solid actress normally, especially in comedy, but we’re asked to believe her as a mere mortal here, one full of moxie and soft-rock/folkie music just waiting to burst out. The whole thing is false, including Barbra’s leading turn, especially her leading turn. Glimpses of camp itch to escape but they’re buried under the rubble of Streisand’s self-mythology and iconography. The only scene that plays as truth from her is a rehearsal for a television special where she starts barking orders at the crew and says she wants it to be right. That’s the only time a real person is viewable in her Esther, and it’s quickly submerged by more flattering close-ups, including a whooper of a single tear dramatically rolling down her face. Just stick with Judy Garland’s version, that one is just as long but still manages to delivers the goods.