26 September 2023

House Of Gucci

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Reviewed by Hannah Spencer.

Director: Ridley Scott, Universal Pictures, 2021, MA15+, 158 mins.

High drama, high fashion, and some very questionable Italian accents.

House of Gucci chronicles, three decades of the fashion empire’s history filled with betrayal, greed and eventually murder.

With complete access to the Gucci archives, the production and costume design from Arthur Marx and Janty Yates are a heady immersion into the lavish world of the Gucci family.

However, they fail to save an inconsistent film.

Inconceivably (and despite a wealth of scandalous source material), the film is dull.

At its most interesting when focusing on the relationship between Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver, Marriage Story) and his wife Patrizia.

Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) throws herself into the role of the “black widow” with a burning intensity that eclipses her seasoned co-stars.

When the young Maurizio marries Patrizia (who may or may not be after his money) he is cut off from the Gucci family.

However, with the passing of the family patriarch (Jeremy Irons, Lolita) and some plotting by Patrizia, Maurizio re-enters the fold and a decades-long battle for control of the struggling Gucci empire begins.

As Maurizio and Patrizia’s marriage begins to sour she turns to a celebrity psychic (Selma Hayek, Frida) to plan her revenge in a case of life being stranger than fiction.

Gaga’s passion is out of step with the understated performances from Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino (The Godfather) as Uncle Aldo.

An inexplicably cartoonish Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) is unrecognizable as the foolish cousin Paolo Gucci.

The mix is incoherent and adds to the feeling that there are multiple films happening at once.

The inconsistent cinematography doesn’t help; with erratic pacing, the film lags and a terrible Anna Wintour impersonation is particularly grating.

However, the rise and fall of a fashion dynasty and the struggle for heritage luxury houses to maintain relevant over time is legitimately interesting.

Fashion buffs may enjoy the nod to Tom Ford and his explosive revival of a fading brand.

Its a feast for the eyes and escapist entertainment with a dash of camp, but sadly this film may have been more successful as a tv series.

2.5 stars out of 5

Screening nationally

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