Gaga for Lady Gaga. First, it was the music world that fell under her spell. Way back in 2008 she brought fans under her spell with tracks like “Poker Face” and “Just Dance” then cemented herself as a major player on the pop music scene with “Born This Way”, “Bad Romance”, “Rain on Me”, and “The Edge of Glory”. She then ventured into her first love – acting. Starting slowly with a turn in Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills” then making people sit up and take notice with her turn in the Ryan Murphy hit series American Horror Story. She continued streaming up the acting charts with her Oscar-nominated role in A Star is Born. Next up for her, in what seems like a no-brainer, was House of Gucci.
When veteran director Ridley Scott announced he was making a film about the Gucci fashion house or more accurately the family behind the house of Gucci, it seemed natural that he would select Gaga as the outsider, Patricia Reggiani. It combined Gaga’s well-documented love of fashion and her attraction to scene chewing. A marriage made in heaven.
While Gaga comes off as the reason to see the film, despite being onscreen with veteran actors like Jared Leto, Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino, her performance is of a higher quality than the overall film. Which is too bad and probably cost her another Oscar nomination.
While this is not a total failure as a film, there are flaws aplenty. Which is too bad as it really has a crazy interesting story. Plus it just cries out to fans of fashion and camp. A great combo in my books. Yet something just doesn’t click here. Most of the blame for that can be laid on Scott’s shoulders.
Surprisingly Scott, who has been behind the camera for a whopping 57 times on films like The Last Duel, The Martian, Prometheus, American Gangster, Black Hawk Down, Thelma & Louise, and Alien, makes mistakes you might expect of a less seasoned director. The tone of the film is all over the place. Seems like the film almost got out of control of the man in charge. A lack of vision? Not sure what kind of story he was telling? Whatever the reason, the result is a rather wobbly film. Plus a good 20 minutes could have been trimmed off. The film is too long.
Amazingly the campiest performance is not by Gaga, but by Jared Leto. His very stylized Paolo Gucci is a sight to behold. And to listen to! That accent! Don’t know what to say about it. Pretty much renders his Paolo a caricature.
A combination of biopic (of a family) and crime drama, House of Gucci is based on the 2001 novel The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. Focusing on an outsider infiltrating the inner sanctum of one of fashion’s biggest families/houses, The romance and subsequent marriage of Patricia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver) is where the focus lies. Patricia has nothing to do with fashion as she works as an office manager in her father’s trucking company. Things change when she meets the socially awkward Maurizio. Maurizio is part of the Gucci fashion family and stands to inherit half of the company via his father, Rodolfo (played by Jeremy Irons).
Despite his father’s threat of disinheritance, Maurizio marries Patricia. The ambitious woman does not allow that to stop her desire to climb to the top of the fashion world. She sees having a child as a way back into the Gucci family. Once the pregnancy becomes known, Uncle Aldo (played by Al Pacino) takes the young couple under his wing. This leads to a reconciliation with an ill Rodolfo. Patricia sees a way back in and is not going to allow something like an unsigned document get in her way.
- The Rise of the House of Gucci: Making Of
- The Lady of the House
- Styling House of Gucci