A Star Is Born, the movie Hollywood can’t stop remaking, is a fairy-tale about the American dream factory. But it has also, always, been a reflection of the woman in the lead role—and the latest version stars a woman who has been playing a role for more than a decade: Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga. When Gaga scored her first No. 1 hit, “Just Dance,” 10 years ago this month, critics thought her fame might be short-lived. But
Gaga had a lot to say about The Fame, and within a year she had shifted the sound of the Top 40 in her electro-pop direction. And then, in the mid-2010s, she shifted her own sound, belting out pop standards for everyone from Tony Bennett to Julie Andrews. What happens if this shape-shifter pivots from Grammys to Oscars? And what will that say about the themes of A Star Is Born: artifice, authenticity and agency?
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