Before we get to all of Bradley Cooper’s looking, he was seen a few times in New York yesterday. Here he is out for lunch and he was also photographed out for a walk with Irina Shayk and their daughter Lea. About a week ago, Page Six reported that Coop and Irina looked miserable at dinner.

The couple had a low-key dinner date at Masa in the Time Warner Center, and spies told Page Six they were serving some major attitude to each other.

“They were not looking happy,” a spy told us. “The couple sat down. He was in a hoodie and she was fresh-faced — no makeup — and they barely spoke to each other at the start of the meal. Halfway through, she started looking off to the side and he was moody.”

After a heavy promotional schedule, Coop’s been mostly in New York since A Star is Born came out, perhaps trying to keep it low key as the film continues to make money, continues to build momentum and generate all kinds of Oscar hype. Needless to say, real-life romantic drama isn’t part of the plan. The plan, for the next five months, is to keep talking about how much of himself he put into his directorial debut, what an achievement it is for him that this is what he was able to produce his first time out as a director, how he and Lady Gaga found in each other the perfect formula to tell this story, how he lowered his voice to be Jackson Maine, how he learned how to play instruments and on and on and on and on. You know. You put the drama into the work. Outside of the work, there’s not supposed to be any drama. Let’s see how that plays out over award season. And whether or not Irina will be part of it. Will she join him at the Golden Globes? Critics’ Choice? SAGs? And the big show? The Oscars? 

Yesterday I posted about Bradley at the Oscars and whether or not he and Lady Gaga will perform “Shallow” together which, of course, is the hope. We know Gaga can and would perform. And there are a number of songs from the soundtrack that she could easily deliver for a solo performance. “Shallow”, however, is the banger. It’s the song that everyone knows. It’s the highpoint of the film. That song at the end of the movie? “I’ll Never Love Again”? That song’s not doing it for anyone. It might as well be “Jesus Loves Me” from The Bodyguard soundtrack. 

If he does agree to it though, unless he grows his hair out, Coop will be singing as Jackson with his current look. Which is definitely not Jack’s look. Is that gonna be weird for you? I’ve been thinking about all of Jack’s looking the last few days because I’ve been thinking about the Oscar race and whether or not the Academy will give him Best Actor for his performance. For me, the strongest part of his performance is when he’s looking at her. Which is so meta because, of course, the most famous line from the movie, and the one that’s become its most popular meme, is “I just want to take another look at you”. And, really, for me, that’s when his best acting happens. Not when he’s talking or crying or trying to diminish the artistic value of pop music but when he’s just looking at her. He’s saying so much when he’s just looking at her. 

The first time at the bar during "La Vie En Rose", when it’s discovery and appreciation and a profound sureness that this person will mean more to him than he ever knew was possible, all of that is there in his face, no words necessary. Then again in the parking lot when he’s icing her hand and she comes up with the first part of “Shallow” and nails him with that one line – “ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore”. He’s in awe of her, of her talent, of course, but while he’s seeing her, he’s also experiencing the sensation of being seen. That too required no dialogue. And of course during “Shallow”, on stage, as he’s watching her come into her talent, there’s a combination of “I told you so” pride and tremendous respect but also, the look of a simple boy with a simple crush, all of that is happening on his face at the same time. Impressively.

There are things I don’t care for about the movie, decisions he makes as a storyteller and a director that keep A Star is Born, for me at least, at an 8 instead of a 10 out of 10. But there’s no taking away from Bradley Cooper’s work here where silent acting is concerned. It’s probably why so many people are shipping him and Lady Gaga. Which, bless them, they are clearly not leaning into. Until, perhaps, they connect again onstage at the Oscars.