November 25, 2021

CINEMA | Lady Gaga Burns Down A 'House of Gucci' Divided

"Gucci is a rare animal. It must be protected."
Lady Gaga Adam Driver Ridley Scott | House of Gucci
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Universal Studios
Prolific 83-year-old director Ridley Scott brings a glossy, high-class sheen to the very pulpy real-life material surrounding the notorious Gucci family business and Italian luxury fashion brand. House of Gucci is a near-camp tragicomedy with some very hammy performances and even more curious needle drops wrapped in a dumb criminal plotline of murderous folly.

Starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga as famed fashionista couple Maurizio and Patrizia Gucci, the grandson heir and his ambitious wife of the original Gucci founder, the pair duel over a bitter family power struggle lasting decades against the rest of the Gucci clan from father Rodolfo (a cranky Jeremy Irons), cousin Paolo (an unhinged Jared Leto), and Uncle Aldo (an unleashed Al Pacino).

Featuring so many different Italian accents varying wildly in accuracy and quality from a star-studded cast of non-Italian actors, it's Gaga's committed performance that saves the sopa opera from becoming its own self-parody with such a charismatic appeal as Driver, always solid, grounds the more melodramatic elements including Leto's absurdist, over-the-top performance and Pacino's hamminess.

Written by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna, their script leans heavily into the true crime element as they tee up the murder plot central to the story from the beginning. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski paints Gucci with a stylish gloss mirroring its high fashion subject matter amidst a fun 1980-90s European setting.

House of Gucci becomes mostly melodramatic nonsense based on a family rivalry feuding over their decaying power turned into Hollywood entertainment. Part tragedy, part comedy, the fun romp feels like a very long episode of something like The Real Housewives of Gucci set in Milan following the sad lives of the rich and clueless more than anything.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire / Vox

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