HITS Daily Double


Everybody thought Lady Gaga was all but assured of winning the Oscar for her performance in A Star Is Born, but Sunday night she lost the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture—Drama to Glenn Close for The Wife. How nervous should she be about her Oscar chances?

Pretty nervous.

And what do Cher, Mary J. Blige and Judy Garland have to do with this? Ah, let me tell you.

Close has amassed six Oscar nominations. She has yet to win. No other living actor has amassed so many noms without winning. For her most iconic role, Alex Forrest in 1987's Fatal Attraction, Close lost to another megastar singer/entertainer and tabloid magnet who proved to be a surprisingly skilled actress, Cher in Moonstruck. There will be some sentiment that Close should be honored before another pop star swoops in and takes the award.

When the Oscar nominations are announced on 1/22, Gaga is certain to be nominated for both Best Actress and Best Original Song. She would be only the second person to be nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year, following Blige last year for Mudbound and its song, "Mighty River." (Blige was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, not lead, as Gaga will be, but it still counts.)

If Gaga wins the Oscar for Best Actress, she'll do what Garland didn't—win an Oscar for A Star Is Born. For the 1954 version, Garland lost to Grace Kelly for the The Country Girl. If Gaga loses the Oscar, she'll become the second superstar singer/entertainer to lose the Oscar for playing the star on the rise in this classic film property. (Barbra Streisand, who played the role in between Garland and Gaga, wasn't even nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress.)

I think the main reason A Star Is Born performed poorly at the Golden Globes is that their voters resented the way Bradley Cooper and the Star team insisted on competing in the drama categories, rather than musical or comedy. (The 1976 version competed in musical or comedy and won five awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Actor for Kris Kristofferson.) In part, this may have been the Globes' way of saying "You can come in and push your weight around, but we kind of like the way we do things."

If this Star had competed in the musical or comedy lane, Gaga might very well have won Best Actress, defeating Olivia Colman in The Favourite.

But then we wouldn’t have realized that we have a nail-biter in the Oscar race, where we thought we were headed for a coronation.