Can Lady Gaga win Oscar gold with A Star is Born?

Early reviews for Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born are out. Most are positive, praising the film and also Lady Gaga’s performance. With all of this praise in Oscar season, is it possible for the singer to take home Oscar gold?

Last Friday, Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born remake premiered at the Venice Film Festival. The film, which stars Lady Gaga in her first major theatrical role, received an 8 minute standing ovation at the festival.

Early reviews are mostly positive, some even glowing. The film currently has a rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many are also praising Gaga’s performance. A review from Empire states Gaga “puts in a performance that is both compelling and well-crafted”.

Since the film is being released in prime Oscar season and has a considerable amount of buzz, it will be no surprise if it picks up a few nominations. If the praise for Gaga’s performance continues, it is possible she will receive an acting nom.

The Oscars aren’t new to nominating singers and even awarding them. Cher, Jennifer Hudson, and Frank Sinatra all have received Hollywood’s highest honor. The Oscars are not so highbrow that they would not award singers-turned-actors.

Gaga has already proven herself as an actress. Her leading role in American Horror Story: Hotel gave her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Movie in 2016.  In her role as the Countess, some critics originally argued she was just playing herself. They thought that like Gaga, the Countess was a fabulous socialite with extravagant outfits. However, Gaga brought more to the table.

Gaga showed off her acting talents in an episode centered on the Countess’ backstory. In it, the Countess goes from a shy, humble young woman to the dramatic vampiric creature at the hotel. Gaga was able to pull off both sides of the character flawlessly and ultimately brought an emotional depth to her.

A Star is Born, photo credit: Clay Enos via WB Media Pass

It seems like in A Star is Born  Gaga shows again she can play more than just an extraordinary persona. In the film she plays Ally, an aspiring, but insecure singer-songwriter. The trailer shows her extremely toned down with brunette hair and minimal makeup. In praise of Gaga’s performance, Empire also stated: “She brings a startling naturalism and lightness of touch that is completely at odds with her public persona; an exquisite mixture of disbelief, cynicism, hope and tender vulnerability.”

With such a supposedly nuanced performance, an Oscar nomination for the singer seems highly  possible. However, an Oscar win may or may not be, depending on who her competition is. Early Best Actress Oscar predictions include acting heavyweights Viola Davis (Widows), Saoirse Ronan (Mary, Queen of Scots), and Nicole Kidman  (Destroyer). However, Cher was able to beat out Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and Holly Hunter for Best Actress in 1988.

Throughout her career, Gaga has continuously shown her talent and ability to surprise us. Though frequently doubted and mocked by critics and audiences, Gaga has often proven people wrong. With A Star is Born Gaga surprising audiences once again, and I believe with just the right amount of positive hype surrounding her performance, she could be adding an Oscar to her awards shelf.

A Star is Born releases in US theaters October 5.