Pop Culture Intervention

The 6 Most Relatable Moments From ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’

The new documentary from Netflix shows a different side of the superstar.

At A Plus, we're addicted to pop culture, and Pop Culture Intervention brings that obsession to the soapbox. Through this series, we'll recommend what you should be watching, reading or listening to; explore how arts and entertainment affect us; and interpret the important messages contained within various works.

As an international music superstar, many of Lady Gaga's public appearances are scripted, rehearsed, and touched up. In Gaga: Five Foot Two, released Friday on Netflix, the singer's vulnerability and emotional journey are the uncredited co-stars of the documentary that follows Gaga during the last months of creating her fifth album Joanne to her performance at this year's Super Bowl halftime show.

The film opens with those final moments before Gaga takes the stage in Houston, but then swiftly transitions to a sequence of quiet moments in Gaga's routine at home: she feeds her dogs, she makes breakfast, she drives to work. While, yes, she does all those things with a team of people around her, there is the impression that one of the things that Gaga is most trying to do, like all of us, is live her genuine life. 

See below for some of our favorite moments in the film that capture this idea.

1. When she refused to let others’ expectations for her define her expectations for herself.

Gaga spends a majority of the first half of the film in the studio as she completes Joanne, a different album from a different Gaga than fans had seen in the past. During one scene, while taking a break from a recording session, Gaga discusses how part of her outlandish persona was the desire to not let others pin her down too much. No matter what genre people expected her music to be, Gaga notes she always "put some absurd spin on it."

2. When she tries to reconcile who she is and who her fans want her to be.

Much of Gaga: Five Foot Two deals with Gaga's transformation from someone who wears meat dresses to the Gaga who is on the cover of Joanne. While she does admit that she still loves the days she spends in couture, she worries that fans won't recognize or be satisfied with the person she has become. "Do you think some of my older are going to be disappointed that I'm not all dressed up?" she asks during the filming of the music video for "Perfect Illusion."

Lady Gaga embraces her grandmother in Gaga: Five Foot Two. Screenshot / Netflix
Lady Gaga embraces her grandmother in Gaga: Five Foot Two. Screenshot / Netflix

3. When she shows her family is one of the things she truly values.

In a scene director Chris Moukarbel tells Billboard almost didn't happen, Gaga and her father pay a surprise visit to Gaga's grandmother to play her the title track off her album, named after Gaga's aunt who died from lupus at 19. The emotional moment is told through three generations and is one of the best in the film.  

4. When her body just won’t do what she needs it to do.

Gaga spends the day of Tony Bennett's 90th birthday party — where she is scheduled to perform — in debilitating pain that is a lasting effect from a broken hip on the Born This Way Tour in 2013. In tears on the couch, Gaga describes the pain that extends up the entire side of her body. "I just think about other people that, like, have maybe something like this, that are struggling to figure it is and they don't have the quick money to have someone help them," she says.

Lady Gaga in Gaga: Five Foot Two. Screenshot / Netflix
Lady Gaga in Gaga: Five Foot Two. Screenshot / Netflix

5. When she realizes the sacrifices she's made for her career.

During one particularly emotional moment Gaga, chronicles her failed relationships and what could have been the causes of those breakups. "My love life has just imploded," she says. "I sold 10 million [records] and lost Matt. I sold 30 million and lost Luke. I did a movie and lose Taylor. It's like a turnover. This is the third time I've had my heart broken like this."

6. When she has her fame put into perspective.

In an act that we imagine all artists have committed at some time, Gaga pops into a Walmart to ask if they carry the "new Lady Gaga" album. It takes a couple tries for the employee to realize what she's asking for and informs her that would be "somewhere around here." 

When the store employees do eventually recognize her, Gaga gamely takes a few photos with fans before leaving the store with two copies of her album. 

Gaga: Five Foot Two is available on Netflix.

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