TIFF: Gaga: Five Foot Two

Whether or not you love her music, you know Lady Gaga. You know the stunts, the hair, the makeup, the crazy costumes, the meat dress, the Madonna feud, the constant nudity. But when Lady Gaga wanted to rebrand herself with a new album,ย  Joanne, in which both she and her music would be stripped-down and very different from their former selves, she decided this documentary would be just the thing to introduce Lady Gaga-lite to her fans.

Like way too many documentaries of this sort, Lady Gaga only offers up what she wants us to see, nothing more, and definitely nothing very personal. It’s all about the music, so your enjoyment of this film will depend a lot on your appreciation of her music. Director Chris Moukarbel grants us backstage access to her shows, her recording studio, her music video shoots, and the preparations for her Superbowl halftime show.

I’m not a huge fan of hers, but I can appreciate her voice and her musicianship. I am a little less forgiving of the rich and famous who star in documentaries whose sole purpose is to tell you how hard their cushy lives are. As a fellow sufferer of chronic pain, I want to have sympathy for her plight, but watching doctors who treat the rest of us as drug seekers literally throw them at her is a little disheartening. And that’s not mentioning the personal masseuse and physio therapist she staffs round the clock, or the makeup artist who accompanies her to doctor’s appointments to make sure she never looks less than her best.

Lady Gaga arrives on the red carpet for her film "Gaga: Five Foot Two" during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto

I suppose if you’re a big enough fan you can likely look beyond the privileged whining and appreciate the work she pours into her music, and the family story behind the album in question, which is actually quite interesting.

 

I did, at times, feel a little sad for her. In the documentary she seems ready to shed the more outrageous parts of her “performance”, wants to be taken seriously out of the crazy high fashion and in just a pair of jean shorts. Will her fans accept this transition? If you saw her at the TIFF premiere of the film, you’d be inclined to assume the answer is no. She seems to have already reverted to her old ways before the movie even hit Netflix. I guess my biggest takeaway is that yes, compromises have been made. Money and success don’t insulate from that.

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19 thoughts on “TIFF: Gaga: Five Foot Two

  1. Birgit

    They so live in their own private world but if she can shed a light on chronic pain and the medical problem she has, it might helps many others. How she can wear those shoes with the pain she has, leaves me wondering how she can do it. I like her actually even if she brings a make up person with her..I can’t complete that sentence without laughing. I deal with chronic pain also but am hoping things will improve in the near future. I went to the Allevio Pain Clinic in Toronto (Off Leslie St) and was very impressed. I am going for an infusion of Lydacain (unsure of spelling, sorry) this Tuesday plus something else to help. Maybe it might help you??

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  2. Lacey

    Like you, I appreciate her voice but am not a super fan. A group of friends and I have tickets to see her in December. So I kinda watched this wanting to like her by the time it was over, but I ended at the same spot I started. Still not a huge fan but think she has a lot of talent.

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    1. Jay Post author

      She does, and I think a live show is easier to appreciate than a documentary. She seems to put a lot of effort into those and I bet it’s quite spectacular to see! And even without being a superfan, she’s had a lot of hits on the radio so I imagine she’s got a very recognizable catalogue.

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      1. Kariyanine

        I saw her in concert a few years ago, at the time I wouldn’t have considered myself a fan of hers (and I only knew a couple of the songs). I left that show super impressed. For as much of a show as she puts on, she is a legit musician as well and her concert was one of the best I’ve ever been too.

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  3. mydangblog

    I do really love her voice, but didn’t know much about her at all. And now I’m superjealous that she has a personal massage therapist because that would be my dream. I had a pedicure the other day and the esthetician offered me a shoulder massage while my feet dried. It was the best day ever.

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    1. Jay Post author

      That is very good! I think we appreciate it more when we give ourselves a treat than she does having it around at her beck and call. At least that’s what I tell myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. fragglerocking

    I have a couple of her songs on my iPod, but am not a ‘fan’ as such. I suppose if I had the talent and money she has, I’d be having a personal masseuse and a make up artist too. Oh and a bartender.

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  5. Christy B

    I like that she is different from anyone else but honestly she doesn’t need to be so outrageous all of the time as I like her voice so much. It’s the voice that sells records… or so I’d like to think ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. Liz A.

    Interesting. I like her music, but I’ve gotten past the point where I care much about finding out anything about the person beyond the art. Sounds like her privledge is on parade, though.

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  7. Kariyanine

    This documentary seems like it is a year late to the party. She seemed to decide to make the shift away from her more reserved rebranding just a few short months after Joanne released last year.

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