Saturday, 22 October 2022

Movie Review: House Of Gucci (2021)

A family-and-business saga, House Of Gucci is an engaging but notably ovelong romantic drama-comedy. 

In 1978, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) is the daughter of a truck company owner. At a party she meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), a law student and heir to 50 percent of the luxury brand. She pursues him romantically and they are soon married. Maurizio's father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) does not approve of Patrizia, believing she is just a golddigger, but Rodolfo's brother Aldo (Al Pacino) is more welcoming. Aldo's son Paolo (Jared Leto) is the family fool.

The ambitious Patrizia has a sharp business mind and befriends psychic Pina (Salma Hayek). Patrizia then inserts herself into the family's affairs by manipulating Maurizio and Paolo. After Rodolfo's death she tries to manoeuvre for full control, but Maurizio eventually tires of her antics and their marriage heads into trouble, leaving Patrizia vulnerable and deeply resentful.

Inspired by real events, House Of Gucci has the perfumed gloss of a high-end fashion magazine. The screenplay by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna finds plenty of material spanning more than 15 years in the cocooned world of the wealthy, and maintains admirable energy. Romance, business, connivance, and family feuds ensure a steady stream of narrative twists. Director Ridley Scott stages the Gucci clan antics with bravado, embracing the aloof glamour of wealth. 

And it's a lust for wealth and power that drives Patrizia. The Gucci's themselves are relatively boring, and it's left to an outsider to burst into their world and shake it up, igniting a delicious clash between classism, social ladder-climbing. and eurotrash. It's all fun and games until someone dies, although for better or worse, the film steers towards violence with a silly grin.

The cast is simultaneously captivating and caricaturish. Almost unrecognizable under layers of makeup, Jared Leto is simply out there as Paolo, milking the role of pathetic idiot for all it's worth. Pacino is more restrained but still flamboyant. Lady Gaga and Adam Driver hold the centre of the circus together with assured performances, Gaga's take on Patrizia underlining her demands for a place in the sun, while Driver tracks Maurizio's meandering journey from withdrawn young man to ruthless business tycoon.

At 158 minutes, House Of Gucci is inexcusably too long, Scott's lazy editing allowing every scene and sequence to go on. The characters are over-the-top entertaining, but they could have been hustled along with better discipline.



All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

2 comments:

  1. I agree this was way too long. This could've been told in two hours easily, and that would also make it a lot more rewatchable. As it stands, I don't think I ever need to see this again.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the misguided perception that "lengthy = important" is out of control.

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