Lady Gaga sparks Oscar buzz with first look at A Star Is Born

No makeup, no meat dress, no "monsters" – Lady Gaga shows off her most restrained makeover yet in the first look of her anticipated film A Star Is Born.

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The impressive trailer for the film – written and directed by actor Bradley Cooper – hit the internet on Wednesday, and drew surprised praise from online viewers.

The romantic drama follows Gaga as Ally, an aspiring singer who’s taken under the wing of fading alt-country star Jackson Maine, played by Cooper. Their relationship falters as her star rises and his plummets.

An almost unrecognisable Lady Gaga stars in A Star Is Born. 

An almost unrecognisable Lady Gaga stars in A Star Is Born. 

Gaga’s role had initially been slated for Beyoncé, who had been in talks to star in a Clint Eastwood-directed adaptation since 2011. Reports indicated Cooper turned to Gaga after studio Warner Bros dismissed Beyoncé’s $US30 million asking fee.

The upcoming film is a remake of a remake of a remake of a remake – the fourth version of the original A Star Is Born, released in 1937. It was remade with Judy Garland and James Mason in 1954, and updated with a very ‘70s, freewheeling spirit in 1976 by writer-director Frank Pierson, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

The project has sparked headlines throughout its production, after Cooper shot key scenes for the film onstage at music festivals including Coachella and Glastonbury.

Music for the film, as featured in the trailer, was written by Lukas Nelson, the son of country legend Willie Nelson. The film also stars Sam Elliott and comedian Dave Chappelle in a rare dramatic role.

Gaga’s understated glimpse in the trailer has already sparked buzz of an acting prize at next year’s Oscars.

The singer was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar in 2016 for her anti-abuse anthem Til It Happens To You from The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on US college campuses, but this would mark her first film acting nod.

Anticipation for the film was piqued earlier this year, after a number of scenes showcased at April's CinemaCon exhibition earned raves from industry folks. Actor Robert De Niro, who revealed he'd seen the completed film, labelled it "special".

A Star Is Born opens in cinemas in Australia on October 4.

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