mon 06/12/2021

House Of Gucci review – gloriously gawdy trash | reviews, news & interviews

House Of Gucci review – gloriously gawdy trash

House Of Gucci review – gloriously gawdy trash

Ridley Scott’s latest is a hot mess of cod accents and daytime drama, yet watchable

Adam Driver and Lady Gaga star in House of Gucci

Back in 2013, Gina Gershon chewed up the scenery in the daytime movie House of Versace. Focusing on the murder of Gianni Versace, it was a tacky, cheap drama that knew what it was, and was all the more entertaining for it. The same cant be said of Ridley Scotts new drama which focuses on an equally prestigious Italian fashion house and a murder.

The film masquerades as a crime drama with an impressive gloss, but it cant mask its daytime TV mechanics. 

Scotts second film in as many months, House of Gucci follows box office failure The Last Duel. Sitting somewhere between bad opera and good soap opera, its a gleeful mess of a movie that’s as trashy as Lee Daniels The Paperboy and will no doubt be as hotly debated as Ridleys much maligned The Counsellor. At times it has the overly-constructed faux drama of a Real Housewives reality show, and about as much emotional pathos to boot. But theres no denying that its a good-looking movie. 

Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani in her first movie role since her Oscar-winning performance in A Star Is Born. Its no spoiler to say that Reggiana was convicted for hiring a Sicilian hitman to kill her ex-lover, Maurizio Gucci. The film opens with the assassination, although it holds back the coup de grâce until the final moments. Gaga certainly gives it her all as Reggiani, even though her accent sounds about as Italian as Gianni from EastEnders.  Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani Reggiani is a social-climbing Lady Macbeth, who hits Milans party scene with the hope of snaring a rich husband. This is where she encounters Maurizio (Adam Driver). She sets about ensnaring him and succeeds, much to the annoyance of his reclusive father and co-head of the Gucci dynasty, Rodolpho (Jeremy Irons). However, she does win the approval of his brother, Aldo (Al Pacino) and his dolt of a son, Paolo (Jared Leto in a career worst, and thats saying something). Once established in the Gucci clan, Reggiani brings fortune and misfortune, setting father against son, and winning the disapproval of the familys loyal legal retainer, Domineco (Jack Huston). 

The drama is uneven, but its peppered with spectacular moments, particularly those involving Salma Hayek as a fortune-telling cat-lady-cum-witch, who befriends Reggiani and helps her find a hitman to kill her one-time lover. Scott also provides us with a chance to see Camille Cottin as Maurizios new lover, Paola Franchi, in her biggest film appearance since the international success of Call My Agent.

The main problem with the film is that its all veneer masking cheap wood beneath. Theres the wide array of hammy accents that sound like the policeman from Allo Allo. The worst offender is Leto, who shows that Bob Hoskins playing Mario had a better grip on the Italian accent. We dont want to return to the days of The Hunt For Red October and the extreme suspensions of disbelief needed to convince ourselves that Sean Connery was Russian. 

Then theres the screenplay. Based on the book by Sara Forden, and adapted by Becky Johnson and Roberto Bentivegna, its not just uneven - its a little dull. Given the sensationalism of the story and popularity of dynastic dramas like Succession, they had an easy job on their hands. Despite this, the film waxes and wanes, stirring laughs when it shouldnt and failing to elicit an ounce of pity or anger for Gagas Reggiani, despite the best efforts of the singer-turned-actress. 

But… and there is a big ‘but’. Despite its myriad flaws, the film is a glossy glorious mess that you cant stop watching. Viewing House of Gucci feels like being stuck on the sofa on a hangover binge watching HayU - you know damn well that your time could be better spent… but until the new Paul Thomas Anderson is out, why not just sit back and enjoy some trash. 

The main problem with the film is that it’s all veneer masking cheap wood beneath

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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