What a long, strange ride it’s been. For almost five months we have followed along as Lady Gaga put on the performance of a lifetime, starring in the role of Woman Who Will Do Anything for an Oscar. Wednesday night was Gaga’s last show, and she went out with a bang.
The House of Gucci star attended the New York Film Critics Circle gala to collect her award for best actress, her only major win of the season, two weeks ahead of the Oscars, where she will not be a nominee. In her 13-minute speech, Gaga showed us what we have been missing by not giving her more chances to get up on a stage and talk about how incredible it is to be an Italian girl from New York.
“I’m so incredibly honored to receive this award in my hometown, Manhattan, New York,” Gaga said through tears. It should be noted that she has known she won this award since early December; the tears were not due to surprise, that’s just what she’s like.
Speaking on the Italian women in her life, the ones who inspired her performance as Patritzia Reggiani, the Star Is Born actress said, "These women taught me how to have big feelings in a man's world and that having big feelings is beautiful." At this point she is barely holding it together. "And having big feelings also, to a lot of the world, people think it's really ugly. And they think women with big feelings are ugly. But it's not ugly. It's just real. And for me it's Italian.”
Gaga was even kind enough to share a little lesson on Italian cuisine. “It's who we are. We're hard work and big feelings. And also meatballs," she said, getting a laugh line in there. "Or actually in Italy, like meatballs aren't a real thing. It would be ragú."
Academy voters fucked this one up big time. We could have had this at the Oscars, and instead we’ll probably just get, like, Nicole Kidman calling Keith Urban her rock or Jessica Chastain thanking her family of artists at Juilliard. Olivia Colman will not unexpectedly start speaking in tongues, and Penelope Cruz will not show up in a dress made of spaghetti. Snooze.
But we cannot change the past, only the future. The next time Gaga throws her mind, body, and soul into a performance, we must give her an Oscar. She needs it, we need it, and it could probably buoy the reputation of the floundering awards show for at least another five years, or at least get some YouTube clicks for a week. To Gaga I say this directly: it’s not goodbye, just arrivederci.