House of Gucci has been on my radar for months and I was excited to get to see the screening. With a star-studded cast, this had the potential to be amazing. From the very second that Lady Gaga takes the screen, you know the film is going to be good as she sashays across the street. The cast is excellent, the performances outstanding, the humor satirical, and the story full of family drama and betrayal.
House of Gucci is a biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott based on the book “House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed” by Sara Gay Forden. The film follows the ambitious Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) as she romances Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) and marries her way into the dynastic Italian luxury label. While his cousin Paolo (Jared Leto) wants his own clothing line, the family business holds little interest for bookish Maurizio, and the real power is held by his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) and uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) with the aid of family lawyer Domenico De Sole (Jack Huston). Patrizia soon finds herself pitting family members against each other, with the counsel of her fortune teller, Giuseppina Auriemma (Salma Hayek), in order to gain power. Patrizia eventually finds herself at odds with Maurizio, her rage at him turning murderous.
There are numerous reasons why this film is likely going to be a hit and why it is an excellent film. One of the major reasons is the story. It is complex, it is dramatic, and if the film takes liberties with the truth, it does so in a way that rings true. This is a film where the rich remain rich and the ambitious don’t always succeed. But the commentary on business and on how the powerful stay that way is incredible. It is also intriguing watching the manipulations, the betrayals, and the backstabbing that happens in this film. It is incredibly entertaining with a pace that keeps the viewer absorbed in the plot.
The music and soundtrack are equal to the story. Every song chosen adds to the narrative. The music evokes and adds to the emotional weight of the performances, in particular the drama and betrayal of the various family members. It helps the pace of the film and keeps viewers engaged in the movie.
Another aspect that helps build authenticity is the attention to detail. Lady Gaga’s hair and makeup match the real person as well as her physicality. Adam Driver as Maurizio rides a bike or scooter in the city. The clothing worn by both is particular to the time period. Each element adds to the believability of a wealthy family who can have almost anything they want. Perhaps the most creative element to the designs is the makeup for Jared Leto as Paolo. He is almost unrecognizable in the role, looking so much like the real person, that you almost don’t realize until the credits who is playing the character. That is an amazing act of makeup and of acting.
What truly creates such a sensational film is the acting. Lady Gaga is fiery, manipulative, and simply brilliant. Her accent and demeanor is perfectly Italian and the raw naked ambition she shows is what makes the character so compelling. Adam Driver infuses his character with awkward charm and yet pivots to complete ruthlessness later in the movie without missing a beat. Jeremy Irons is impeccable and magnetic as Rudolfo. Al Pacino is incredible as Aldo, dynamic. All of them also combine family betrayal with family love, even when they are angry with each other and all of the performances are emotional, dramatic, and make the film shine. Jack Huston and Salma Hayek round out the amazing cast with performances that highlight the story.
This is one of the few films that I would recommend watching more than once. There are layers of detail and meaning throughout the story and the music. There are threads of emotion and ideas that the film explores that one would need to watch more than once before a viewer would grasp all the ideas. There is some intriguing satirical commentary in the film and humor that highlight the differences between the very rich and those with less. I think audiences will enjoy the humor and how the powerful gain and keep power.
If you love Lady Gaga, you will absolutely want to watch this film. Her performance is beyond stellar and Adam Driver is brilliant. I actually found all of the performances rich and nuanced, full of emotion. The story is entertaining with humor and pathos, with a real crime at the center of the emotional content. This film is a do not miss film.
Rating: 5 out of 5 betrayals
Official Website: House of Gucci | Official Website | November 24 2021
House of Gucci
From visionary director/producer Ridley Scott (ALIEN, GLADIATOR, THE MARTIAN) comes the true-life dynastic saga, HOUSE OF GUCCI, a riveting tale of ambition, greed, betrayal and murder set against the glamorous backdrop of high fashion and high finance.
The visually stylish film, which spans three turbulent decades in the Gucci family empire boasts a star-studded ensemble cast headed by Oscar® nominees Lady Gaga (A STAR IS BORN) and Adam Driver (MARRIAGE STORY), Oscar® winners Al Pacino (THE GODFATHER, SCENT OF A WOMAN), Jared Leto (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB) and Jeremy Irons (REVERSAL OF FORTUNE). Oscar® nominee Salma Hayek (FRIDA) and Jack Huston (AMERICAN HUSTLE) round out the powerhouse cast. HOUSE OF GUCCI opens exclusively in theaters Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
ONE-LINER: When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.