Since the 1930s, there have been four versions of A Star Is Born, each starring an iconic lady of its time. The latest iteration, A Star Is Born 2018, features Lady Gaga in her first leading role in a feature film. Co-starring Bradley Cooper and directed by him, the film premiered last Friday at the Venice Film Festival. And the first reactions are very promising!

It’s no small feat, stepping into the leading lady role in A Star Is Born. The first woman to take up the task was Janet Gaynor in 1937, and only greats would follow. The 1954 version (and first musical) had Judy Garland, while in 1976 it was Barbra Streisand. Gaga had some big shoes to fill, and it seems she’s done a great job of it. Critics are raving the remake, particularly her performance.

A Star Is Born 2018: Gaga’ing for More

Talkhouse accidentally published the first official review of the film earlier than anticipated, and fans began taking notice. Calling the film an “instant classic,” the reviewer went on to say Gaga was the “undeniable standout.” From then on, positive criticism began to unravel, marveling longtime fans of the pop icon turned actress.

Time praised the film its ode to melodrama, saying Gaga radiated “the nobility of suffering from Kabuki-level grandeur.” The Guardian said she was “sensationally good” in the role. In all, A Star Is Born 2018 has gathered 90% on Rotten Tomatoes so far, and a Metacritic score of 87.

Lady Gaga’s Turn

After starting out as arguably the most “out there” performer in pop music, Gaga has made a 180° turn. She took a jazzy turn in 2014, releasing a duets album with crooning legend Tony Bennett. The next year, she took on her first juicy acting role, playing a blood-sucking Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel. Critics loved her campy turn in the show, and she ended up winning a Golden Globe for it.

A Star Is Born 2018 is Gaga’s big break as a leading lady, and it seems she’s stepped up to the challenge. Awards season is months away, but so far Gaga could be a Best Actress competitor. Could she pass the road Cher created by winning an Oscar for Moonstruck after a long career in pop music?

A Star Is Born will hit theaters on October 5th.