“Gaga: Five Foot Two” does pretty much exactly what you think it’s going to do: It works hard to strip away all of Lady Gaga’s extra — the meat dresses, the wigs, the works — leaving you in awe of her massive talent. And it does something else too: It manages to make a wealthy A-lister slash pop star eerily relatable.
The documentary follows a year in the life of the 31-year-old, from creating her album “Joanne,” to her performance at the Super bowl LI Halftime show. Directed by Chris Moukarbel, it boasts of a cinéma vérité style, so it’s no surprise that the role of the camera (and the filmmaker behind it) is sometimes distracting. These sorts of documentaries make you wonder: Are these stars always on? Do they ever get a break? Is Gaga, an innate performer, doing just that?
The Netflix film, premiering September 22, doesn’t offer a definitive answer, but the “Million Reasons” singer manages to come off as candid and earnest in bits and pieces. Which is really, the best that we could hope for.
Here are the most genuine moments from “Gaga: Five Foot Two.”
When she admits she’s scared to be alone
This film has a ton of emotions. In one of her most emotional breakdowns, Gaga — one of the world’s most successful, most talented artists — ties every moment of her professional success with losing a man she loved. It’s a bummer, but so so relatable. “I go from everyone touching me all day,” she cries, “and talking at me all day, to total silence.” Been there, girl.
The frank portrayal of her fibromyalgia
Gaga opens up about depression, anxiety and paranoia in the doc. But she also deals with chronic pain from fibromyalgia throughout. Watching her deal with the pain — and the conflict between wanting to take care of her body and wanting to give everything her all — is raw and hard to watch.
When she dents Mark Ronson’s car
Mark Ronson should get second billing in “Gaga.” He’s chill, charming and supportive of Gaga throughout. So naturally, when she inadvertently dents his car he’s totally chill about it. Probably because they’re all rich, but you know.
When she hangs with her grandmother
Gaga wants her grandma to be into an early cut of the title track “Joanne” — dedicated to Gaga’s aunt who died from lupus complications at age 19 — so badly, it’s slightly uncomfortable. Seeing Gaga here, so desperate for her grandmother’s approval, is one of the realest moments of the film.
When she silently remembers Amy Winehouse
In one scene, Gaga remembers talented artists who struggled with fame. But when she gets to Winehouse’s name, she can’t say it. She just says, “You know.” Gaga — who tweeted that she couldn’t speak for 48 hours after learning about Winehouse’s death — is a little tipsy, but her emotions are super tangible in the moment.