This Wednesday, November 24, one of the most anticipated films of the year is released (finally) in theaters. After months of waiting, plenty of on-the-fly film photos and a thrilling trailer, “House of Gucci” is revealed on the big screen. Directed by the prolific Ridley Scott, the feature film is inspired by Sara Gay Forden’s book, “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamor and Greed” (2000), thus leaning on assassination of Maurizio Gucci, grandson of the Italian designer, on March 27, 1995. A murder ordered by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, nicknamed the black widow.
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Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, an amazing duo
To bring the film to life, Ridley Scott called on Adam Driver and Lady Gaga to play the two main protagonists: Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani. Dull suit and wary pout for him. Flashy outfits, flashy jewelry, eighties brushing and outrageous makeup for her. A tandem a priori ill-matched but which, surprisingly, matches perfectly.
© Universal Pictures
“House of Gucci” takes us to the Italy of the 1980s, when Patrizia Reggiani meets Maurizio Gucci, at a party that looks like a studio 54. Despite their different social classes and their very distinct characters, the two lovebirds fall in love and get married. A union that disapproves of Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo Gucci, who then cuts him off. Never mind, the couple lives on love and fresh water until the day when money and lust get involved. Thanks to his uncle Aldo, Maurizio gradually returned to the family fold and was trained to one day take over the reins of the Gucci company. Devoured with ambition, motivated by the lure of gain and obsessed with a luxurious lifestyle, Patrizia Reggiani, like a seasoned puppeteer, handles her husband’s puppet to perfection so that, together, they reign over the Italian house.
But one day everything collapses. Maurizio escapes from the toxic hold of his wife, files for divorce and finds love in the arms of a certain Paola Franchi. A scorned woman, ousted from the empire she partly built, Patrizia Reggiani falls from her pedestal. The one to whom we have always taken care to remind that she was not “a Gucci”, decides to get rid of her husband before he remarries. A game of dupes, betrayals, financial shenanigans and family rivalries, all against a backdrop of pageantry and XXL furs. The story spares the Gucci clan nothing – and we understand better why the film has drawn the wrath of the heirs.
© Universal Pictures
Aside from the shock and charming duo formed by Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, the cast can boast of members could not be more prestigious. Jeremy Irons rigorously embodies Rodolfo Gucci, who is dying in his marble villa. Al Pacino dons the impeccable suit of Uncle Aldo Gucci, a sympathetic and paternalistic businessman. Jared Leto, transformed for the occasion, becomes Pablo Gucci, eccentric and stupid son. As for Camille Cottin, the Frenchy dazzles in the skin of Paola Franchi. Thus ensuring its place as a rising star across the Atlantic.
A half-hearted end
But if it sparkles with its flashy outfits, its colorful characters, and its neat sets, the film offers a somewhat etiolated end. In addition to the Italian accents that the American actors, persist in adopting for more than two hours, the feature film seems above all to have forgotten the initial plot along the way: the elaboration and murder of Maurizio Gucci. If the first part perfectly shows the rise of Patrizia Reggiani, her thirst for power, money, recognition and designer suits, the second completely obscures the character. Suddenly relegated to the background, in favor of a confident and formidable Maurizio Gucci, the young woman loses her footing and sinks into insanity. While one expects to discover the details of the elaboration of the murder of the grandson Gucci and the investigation allowing to go back to the black widow, it is not. The trial stealthily appears just before the credits roll, giving the impression of a rushed, if not sloppy, end.
Despite this downside, “House of Gucci” fills all the boxes of a film with disproportionate means, carried by a talented cast and polished aesthetics. The 2:37 hours go by without ever making you want to look at your watch. We simply regret not witnessing a more polished ending, allowing us to savor the game of the astonishing Lady Gaga even more.
© Universal Pictures
Lady Gaga, a new Oscar nomination on the horizon?
Because it is with talent that the latter slips into the bling-bling outfits of Patrizia Reggiani. A second role which further increases the singer’s credibility as an actress. So after a nomination for the Oscar for Best Actress for “A Star is Born” (2018) – she won the statuette for Best Original Song with “Shallow” – there is no doubt that the young woman deserves a once again its place in this prestigious category. Would we even go so far as to predict his victory? With a performance as masterful as it is bluffing in “House of Gucci”, in any case what we want.
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