This is a word Lady Gaga uses in her new Vogue cover story released earlier this week. Her “73 Questions” came out yesterday. All this, of course, ahead of the release of A Star is Born on October 5 following its world premiere in Venice and its North American premiere at TIFF a few days ago. In Sarah’s review of ASIB , she called it a “crowd-pleaser”. It is totally a crowd-pleaser. As I said in my post about ASIB a couple of weeks ago, I was ready for a melodramatic Hollywood fable. And Bradley Cooper delivers on that, 100%. I know people who came out wrecked after their screenings. Or they were already sobbing through the movie. This was not exactly my experience but I definitely felt the swell. You know that swell? When a movie moment makes it so that you suddenly need more air because your heart just got that much bigger and it needs more energy from you to keep breathing? This is what happens during that key number. It’s impossible to resist. It sweeps you away. SHE sweeps you away. Overjoyment.
This is the power of Lady Gaga in A Star is Born. I have never loved her as much as I do now, because of her performance in A Star is Born. So much that it’s time to eat my words. A few years ago, at the Oscars, Gaga arrived and I was reporting from the carpet and there wasn’t that much of a reaction for her in comparison to the movie stars who were there and I made a comment on Twitter about how this was not her lane. Well.
It is absolutely her f-cking lane now. Lady Gaga will be at the Oscars in February. As a nominee, probably a multiple nominee, for her songwriting and for her acting. You cannot deny her performance. It’s all in her face. And Duana, because she’s brilliant, called this two months ago, when we saw the trailer together at the movies, and she leaned over to me and was like, “THERE. This is why this movie is going to work. Because you won’t be able to take your eyes off her face”. Gaga acts with her eyes and her nose and her mouth and her hands – it’s a full body experience, and you believe everything that her face is telling you. Which brings me to the now, and the press tour and promotion…
Because no one understands Lady Gaga’s face better than Lady Gaga. And she’s not giving us her character’s face right now. She is, once again, Lady Gaga. There is strategy behind this. I’d like to believe this is part of the work, that this has been considered and deliberated. Because on the one hand, she could have navigated this press tour as “Ally”, her character in the film. To go along with that story about Bradley Cooper and wiping off her makeup. To remind the voters of the character they’re connecting to during this Oscar campaign. She’s chosen to go about it a different way. If she shows up as “Ally” too much in promotion, it might lessen the impact of you seeing her as “Ally” in the movie. And you want to meet “Ally” for the first time in theatres. You don’t want to go in thinking you already know her. She wants you to feel the full force of “Ally” as you’re enjoying the story. And, on top of that, when she’s on a red carpet, repping A Star is Born, she wants to bring that full circle by living up to that word – STAR – in every respect. Here is the SUPERSTAR who can act, who can shed, who can transform. Who has told THE quintessential Hollywood story about love and fame and tragedy, basically the stuff of dreams.
So here she is, in full movie star mode, answering her 73 Questions – from a distance, you’ll note, and behind sunglasses. As she says in her Vogue interview, clothes can be revealing but they can also help you hide”.
We’ll have a lot more to say about ASIB leading up to its release. But get ready for it. This is going to be a HUGE movie.