House of Gucci (12A)
House of Gucci (12A)
Director: Ridley Scott
Runtime: 157 Mins
Cast: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, Al Pacino, Camille Cotton, Jack Huston, Reeve Carney, Yousef Kerkour
Synopsis: House of Gucci is inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire. When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately… murder.
“It was a name that sounded so sweet, so seductive,
Synonymous with wealth, style, power. But that name was a curse too.”
So begins House of Gucci from celebrated auteur, Ridley Scott [The Last Duel (2021), All the Money in the World (2017), The Martian (2015), Gladiator (2000), Thelma & Louise (1991), Blade Runner (1982)] which is inspired by a true story and the book:The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed by Sara Gay Forden.
We are hearing the voice of Patrizia Reggiani over images of Gucci’s luxury stores in the Via Condotti, Rome and in Milan’s Monte Napoleone. Played by a mesmerising Lady Gaga – Patrizia is an outsider from humble beginnings who marries into the Gucci family and her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately… murder.
After a chance meeting with Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) grandson of founder, Guccio Gucci at a Milan disco party the ambitious Patrizia engineers further meeting and marries her way into the dynastic, world-famous luxury label which became an icon of the Italian Dolce Vita.
When they meet the family business holds little allure for bookish Maurizio, and the real power is held by his father Rodolfo, an elegant, one-time matinee idol, actor (Jeremy Irons). He counsels his son that Patrizia is: “A social climber who has nothing in mind but money.” He cuts them off when they marry.
However she has more success with genial Uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) who gives them Concorde tickets to New York as a wedding present. Aldo has ambitions to expand into Japan’s shopping malls and new Asian markets and is impervious to cheap fake handbags. He will soon be regarded by Maurizio as: “cheapening the brand.”
He is disappointed in his son, Paolo [an unrecognisable, Jared Leto] a poor businessman who has ambitions to be a designer; but his talent is questionable and his colour choices appal his Uncle Rodolfo who sees Gucci: Like the Vatican permanent and unchanging, and opposes variations from his preferred colour choices.
Soon the glamorous Patrizia finds that her romance transforms into a fight for control of Gucci, and as an outsider to be a true force within the brand she will have to pit the family members against each other. She also becomes reliant on a television psychic, Pina Auriemma (Salma Hayek) as a confidant for her unfortunate life choices.
Eventually, in this excess of luxury and greed even Patrizia and Maurizio find themselves at odds, and her rage at him soon turns murderous.
“You have to remember that one Gucci was murdered and another went to jail for tax evasion,” Ridley Scott commented recently.
Beautiful cinematography by Dariusz Wolski captures the expensive clothes, cars and estates, the Italian locations in Rome, Milan, Florence, Lake Como and the Aosta Valley. A superb playlist of music choices from 1980’s pop, opera and Harry Gregson-Williams’ score reflect the luxury and excess of that world.
The stellar ensemble cast show events spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder to preserve and control a name.
Adam Driver gives a quiet, nuanced performance, but ultimately it is Lady Gaga’s film, with her electrifying screen presence and charisma.
Images courtesy of : MGM