Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna
Starring: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino
It’s taken around fifteen years for Ridley Scott to bring House of Gucci to the big screen. It’s gone through many directors, from Ridley Scott to his daughter, Jordan Scott, and even Wong Kar-wai, before Ridley got back in the director’s chair. The cast has equally changed and shifted throughout its long journey to release, even as recently as last year when Jeremy Irons replaced Robert De Niro just before production began. It may have taken a long time, but it is certainly worth the wait.
Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) is studying law, to set his own path in life away from the Gucci family. At a party he meets, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), who is instantly smitten with his name. Patrizia sees Maurizio as a way into the Gucci dynasty, she romances him and they marry, against Maurizio’s father’s wishes. At first, they are outsiders to the family, until Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) invites them to his birthday party. Once Patrizia has found a way into the Gucci family, she won’t stop at anything until she gets what she wants.
This is an epic crime story that covers around two decades of the Gucci family. It is a very long film, over two and a half hours, but it all feels needed. This is the kind of film that you can just get completely absorbed by. There probably are some scenes that don’t really add anything, but they’re all little pieces to the bigger puzzle. They build the people up more and give us a bigger understanding of who they might have been.
The performances are phenomenal. Adam Driver is excellent in everything he’s in. This is his second film with Ridley Scott this year, the other being the overlooked The Last Duel, and he’s a completely different person in Gucci. Every film he’s in, he’s completely different. Gucci may be his best role yet, it’s full of subtlety as the young Gucci tries to move out of his family’s shadow, and then his wife’s, as he tries to become his own person.
Lady Gaga deserves a second Oscar nomination for this film. Her performance is perfect. You completely forget that you’re watching Gaga. She perfectly manipulating, with an intimidating mix of sinister. The lengths she goes to get what she wants, and it feels like she’s not sure where she will stop herself on that journey. She changes as the film progresses and realises that she will never be a true Gucci, you can see how that frustrates her with little facial expressions. Lady Gaga is excellent.
Jared Leto is the outcast in the film. Much like how Paolo Gucci, who he plays, is shown as an outcast to the family. He’s over-the-top and exaggerated, and almost every time he’s on screen he gets a laugh. It’s a strange contrast from the serious drama of the rest of the film, but you warm to him as the film progresses. He just wants to create his own legacy, without much talent, and is naïve enough not to see that the others won’t let him. Paolo’s father, Aldo, is played by Al Pacino who’s a little more subtle but still a lot of fun when he’s on screen.
House of Gucci is full of excess, it’s incredibly long, with an over-the-top performance from Leto, and it’s about wealth, greed, and crime. It is tonally all over the place, but if it clicks with you, then you’re in for a really good time, with one hell of a great soundtrack. Regardless, Driver and Gaga are just as phenomenal as ever and will probably be getting well deserved nominations from all over the place.
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