Today, in Variety, Jeremy Helligar openly wondered if Lady Gaga’s work in the hit film A Star Is Born will earn her an Oscar nomination — perhaps even a win — and reverse a long trend of female pop stars who have been unable to successfully complete the jump from singing to acting. Gaga found herself in an enviable situation on the film, as she was surrounded by top Hollywood talent and had the opportunity to play a character close to herself that would allow her to draw on her life experience to craft her performance.
Yet according to The Insider, Lady Gaga insisted on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert that her character in the film is quite different from the actor portraying her.
“When I was 19 years old,” she told Colbert, “I was dragging my keyboard around New York City banging on everyone’s door. I was pretending to be my own manager to get gigs. I really believed in myself, but my character in this film, she’s not that way… she’s given up and doesn’t believe in herself.”
Lady Gaga still believed in herself, despite finding her career in a difficult transition phase. The Chicago Sun-Times suggested that Gaga’s career was at a dangerous crossroads after the cool critical and popular reception to her last album, Joanne. However, Lady Gaga contests that she couldn’t have made A Star Is Born without first making Joanne, which featured some of Gaga’s best work, despite its uneven overall quality. The quieter, more soulful tracks on Joanne are echoed in Gaga’s musical contributions to A Star Is Born, which are some of the most memorable aspects of the film. Ally, Gaga’s character, almost travels the reverse arc of Gaga herself, going from a soulful balladeer to a dance-pop star, rising to fame as Gaga herself seemed to be falling from it.
In A Star Is Born, Gaga has emerged triumphant. Audiences and critics alike have responded positively to the film, which currently has a 90 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.The Guardian gushes that “Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are dazzling,” while the New York Times lauds Bradley Cooper’s casting of Lady Gaga, “…whose disarming, naturalistic presence is crucial to the movie’s force.” Lady Gaga is already considered an awards season shoo-in for her performance, and GoldDerby’s latest projections have her as a 4-1 favorite to take home the best female actor Oscar.
Whatever happens in Lady Gaga’s future, judging by the critical response, her performance and her music in this latest version of A Star Is Born is a stunning achievement, and should keep her star shining bright on both the screen and the airwaves for years to come.