Sir Ridley Scott brings his unmatched vision to the grand and operatic tale of House of Gucci, which tells the story of desire, greed and a fashion empire….to die for.
House of Gucci is inspired by the shocking true story of the family empire behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci. Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it’s worth, and how far a family will go for control.
When it comes to filmmakers, Sir Ridley Scott stands as one of the all-time greats. Regarded as one of the greatest ever visual storytellers, each new project of his carries a magnificent visual style to the images that he brings to the screen, and he specialises in being able to focus on great, colossal dramas. And House of Gucci fits into his wheelhouse as a director perfectly. House of Gucci is a story of a very unhappy family, which spans from the last 1970s through the wild decadence of the 1980s and ends abruptly in the early 1990s. It’s operatic in scale and size and is a very deep examination of royalty and those who come to stand in their light, and there’s a whole lot of drama going on in this story.
As a cinematic experience, House of Gucci is absolutely luxurious to look upon. Scott and his team take audiences inside the fashion empire of this family who via the success of their brands and products have been raised to the status of Italian royalty. And the decadence of this film shows in every frame of film. The farmlands of Tuscany, the lakeshores of Lake Como and the sparkling marble of Florence sparkle in House of Gucci and there’s a real flair that goes with this film. Added into the fashion are sharp suits, flowing dresses, high-end handbags and plenty of those famed loafers, and you get sucked into the ambience of the visual presentation. With House of Gucci, Scott adopts an almost Renaissance Baroque style in capturing this world and let it be known that House of Gucci is one of the most gorgeous films you’ll watch all year.
Scott’s focus in House of Gucci centres on the gold-digging character of the infamous Patrizia Reggiani and Academy Award winner Lady Gaga plays her to devastating effect. Effortless in her portrayal of this narcissistic-sociopath, Gaga as Patrizia works her way into this ‘royal’ family and her ambitions and cunning knows no bounds. There’s nothing she won’t do to get closer to the source of the Gucci family’s power and money, and Gaga holds the attention of the audience with her stark and severe performance. Completely transformed, Gaga slips into the 1980s hair and wardrobe of Patrizia with ease and she’s a showstopper in this one. With a scintillating sex appeal and a leopard’s cunning, she’s a dangerous and evocative creature in House of Gucci and her performance is incredibly interesting to watch as this tragic and Shakespearian-like story unfolds before our eyes.
Playing off of Gaga is the always consummate performer Adam Driver and his performance as Patrizia’s husband and heir to the Gucci empire, Maurizio Gucci, confirms why he’s one of the best talents working today. Beginning as a very bookish and introverted lawyer, Maurizio soon falls under the spell of the enchanting Patrizia and quickly falls in love with her. But he’s utterly blind to the fact that she simply does not fit into his world and is in love with his last name more than him. Events conspire, jealousies rage and soon Maurizio becomes an altogether more ruthless man determined to take his families fashion empire to even grandeur heights and Driver brings an incredible focus to this film. Driver cuts a dashing figure as the elegant Maurizio and you see a change and growth in his personality and mannerisms as the character faces a forced sense of growth through the events of this film.
One of House of Gucci’s most interesting performances comes from Academy Award winner Jared Leto who once again disappears inside his character of the loud, brash and ludicrous Paolo Gucci. And he’s a bit of a showstopper here. As Paolo, Leto is an unmatched dreamer who can’t see into the fantasy of his dreams and he completely steals whatever scene he appears in. Leto truly stands out as Paolo and he brings his unhinged personality and seething resentment of the character into the picture and he’s a spanner that certainly creates a lot of chaos within the narrative.
With House of Gucci, Sir Ridley Scott presents a grand and operatic tragedy in the fashion of Bizet and it allows the filmmaker to look into ideas of royalty, power, ambition, greed and legacy. This picture is also a character study of its protagonist, Patrizia Reggiani as played by Lady Gaga, and she is completely transformative in her role. While she is prone to unfiltered jealousy and wants to covet all she has come into, Gaga presented a portrait of a very flawed human who is in over her head as much of the rest of the family. Gaga is not sympathetic in her portrayal of Patrizia, but instead shows a very human and flawed character and her performance is elevated by Scott’s direction and his analysis of a great dynasty brought low because of our basest human emotions.
House of Gucci is a lavish and operatic presentation of cinema at its grandest heights and audiences seeking a curious character study will be most intrigued by this production.
Image: Universal Pictures