The Reel Review

C

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver star in this lurid crime drama about Patrizia Reggiani, who rocked the Italian news media and the fashion world when she was convicted of ordering the 1995 killing of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, of the famed Gucci fashion house.

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci.

Directed by Ridley Scott, House of Gucci is a stylish looking, yet torturously long and uneven story – at times it is serious and at others, completely ridiculous and cartoonish. Gaga clearly had a blast chewing the scenery with a questionable accent that sounds more Russian than Italian, and Driver at least resembles Maurizio with an equally dubious accent, but by far the worst is Oscar winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), with yet another, over-the-top physical transmission, this time, as Maurizio’s uber-tacky, buffoonish cousin, Paolo. If this was supposed to be a serious crime drama, Leto didn’t get the memo. His performance is pure screwball comedy.

Adam Driver, Lady Gaga and Al Pacino in House of Gucci.

At more than two and a half hours, House of Gucci is at least an hour too long, spending most of its time on Patrizia’s unbridled lust for power and the company’s financial woes – first under the leadership of Aldo Gucci, played by Al Pacino, then Maurizio. Maurizio’s killing is almost an afterthought. Salma Hayek’s role, as Patrizia’s psychic/murder broker, is silly and one note. Given such a wealth of material to draw from, it is a shame the script is so… mediocre.

REEL FACTS

Maurizio and Patrizia Gucci during their marriage and (right) Patrizia after her release from prison.

• Patrizia Reggiani was released from prison in 2016 after serving 18 years of her original 29 year sentence. While Reggiani praised the casting of Lady Gaga in the film, she was upset that Gaga did not meet with her before accepting the role. Gaga has said she had no interest in “colluding” with Reggiani.

• Even Lady Gaga’s dialect coach says she sounds more Russian than Italian in the film.

Paolo Gucci at his home in West Sussex, England in 1988.

• Despite Jared Leto’s caricature-like impersonation of Paolo Gucci, the real Paolo created a successful sportswear collection and is credited with creating Gucci’s signature double-G logo. Paolo died in London in 1995 of chronic hepatitis at the age of 64.

 

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