House of Gucci (2021). Film review of the fashion dynasty saga starring Lady Gaga

Standard

Drama

star rating 3 out of 5 worth watching

Film review by Jason Day of House of Gucci, the drama about the fall of the fashion line due to family in-fighting and intrigue. Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Al Pacino, directed by Ridley Scott.

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Synopsis

1970’s Italy: Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) is an outsider from decidedly humble origins, her father being the owner of a truck fleet. On a night out, she meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) one of the scions of the illustrious Gucci leather and fashion company.

Her ambition for her husband starts to tear the family apart and sends them headlong into betrayal and murder.

Review, by @Reelreviewer

***Spoiler alert***

Something odd this way comes with House of Gucci, the Lady Gaga-starring ‘Frocky Horror Picture Show’ directed, surprisingly, by esteemed veteran Ridley Scott.

And horror is the right word to describe the Gucci family – these people would whore their own grandmother for an extra lira. The influence of their DNA is such that even those who ‘marry up’ are quickly warped by it, as young Patrizia willingly demonstrates.

I wasn’t 100% sure I liked this movie when I first saw it. I found myself thinking ‘What on Earth is this all about?’, ‘Why would someone want to make this movie?’ and ‘Why is everyone talking in ‘Allo, Allo?‘ style Italian accents?’

It’s definitely one to chew on after the closing credits roll as, casting my mind back for a few answers, there is much to admire and even enjoy about the madass, murky and murderous world of the House of Gucci.

It’s a take on a group of modern-day Borgias and Scott has produced a dark, family-cannibalising-itself comedy in the grandest, most operatic of Italian traditions. There may be less poisonings but the Machiavellian manipulations as they scheme against each other would no doubt see approval from Lucrezia and her kin.

What performer gives the hammiest, most OTT Italian accent? There’s definitely a ‘voice-off’ between the principal stars, but the award for most strangulated, violated verbiage goes to Jared Leto. Seriously funny and almost unrecognisable as podgy, bald-headed Uncle Paolo his accent should be bottled for future comedic occasions.

The movie adds further proof – as if it were needed after her stellar, Oscar-nominated turn in star vehicle A Star is Born (2018) – that singer Lady Gaga really can act. Her suspicious, basilisk stare is constantly scanning the horizon for advancement opportunities. Her eyes are like those of Caligula behind the finest Gianfrance Ferre sunglasses.

An odd movie but not unlikable but even though it is all fittingly over the top, decadent and fruity, it’s unforgivable it lasts more than two and half hours. Far too long to tell a story about family fraud and falling out, not matter how classy its accessories are.

For more, see the official trailer.

Cast & credits

Director: Ridley Scott. 2hr 38 min/158 min. BRON Studios (as BRON Creative/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Scott Free Productions/Universal Pictures. (15).

Producers: Giannina Facio, Mark Huffam, Ridley Scott, Kevin J. Walsh.
Writers: Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna.
Camera: Dariusz Wolski.
Music: Harry Gregson-Williams.
Sets: Arthur Max.

Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek, Alexia Murray, Vincent Riotta, Gaetano Bruno, Camille Cottin, Youssef Kerkour, Reeve Carney, Florence Andrews.

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