Will Lady Gaga Have Her Cher Moment at the Oscars?

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There’s not much that Lady Gaga cannot do. A 12-time Grammy winner, the pop superstar has made a seamless transition to features (“A Star Is Born”) and television (“American Horror Story: Hotel”). As the world awaits her interpretation of the murderess Patrizia Reggiani in “House of Gucci,” are we also waiting on a future best actress winner, who could mimic a trajectory once executed by Cher (“Moonstruck”)?

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The best actress race is buzzing with past nominees (Jessica Chastain, a contender for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), previous winners (Penélope Cruz for “Parallel Mothers,” Frances McDormand for “The Tragedy of Macbeth”), newcomers (Emilia Jones for “CODA,” Rachel Zegler for “West Side Story”) and career-defining character transformations (Kristen Stewart for “Spencer”). But while the field is notable, the cemented front-runner status has yet to materialize. Instead, the season has been awaiting Gaga’s turn as the Italian socialite convicted for hiring a hit man to kill her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver).

Many singers-turned-actors have achieved Oscar glory in the performance realm, including Barbra Streisand (“Funny Girl”) and Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”), the latter of whom is also in the conversation for playing Aretha Franklin in “Respect.” But other than Cher, no past winner has had a path that mirrors what Gaga could achieve.

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After becoming a megastar with a musical career that began with a Grammy nom in 1966 for best new artist, followed by a hit television show with the variety series “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” which earned the performer four Emmy noms over its run, she made a transition to movies in the early 1980s. The icon decided to play her hand with Mike Nichols’ film “Silkwood” (1983), portraying lesbian plant employee Dolly Pelliker. Surprising critics and Academy voters, she was nominated for supporting actress, losing the prize to Linda Hunt as a Chinese Australian man in “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

Four years later, Cher would return to the Oscars, with a much different outcome, in the Norman Jewison romantic comedy “Moonstruck” (1987). Her witty turn as Loretta Castorini won the hearts of cinephiles, and she beat some incredible performances to the podium, including those of Glenn Close (“Fatal Attraction”) and “Silkwood” co-star Meryl Streep (“Ironweed”).

Gaga is an Oscar winner for co-writing the song “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” (2019), but she also was nominated for best actress for the film, losing to Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”), who will be contending once again for her work in “The Lost Daughter.” So if “A Star Is Born” is Gaga’s “Silkwood,” could “House of Gucci” be her “Moonstruck?”

Read the full awards analysis on “House of Gucci” here.

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