*This is a true story…
When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge — and ultimately murder.
“Gucci needs new blood. It’s time to take out the trash.”
While watching the new Ridley Scott film HOUSE OF GUCCI, I could not help but think over and over again about the show SUCCESSION on HBO. Not only in the tone but in the way these children of successful people, handle themselves as they inherit either money or a company from them. This movie and that show clearly have a lot of parallels but for now let’s just focus on the fact that this 83 year old KING continues to churn out high quality movies.
I really did not know much about the Gucci family. going into this but it makes sense given the characters, that this is written as more of a satire. Every actor is hamming it up to the max and giving performances that are outlandish, yet memorable. The main storyline follows Patrizia (Lady Gaga) as she basically squirms her way into the Gucci family, and gets herself in a little too deep. After that she decides to basically go Carole Baskin on her husband Maurizio. But, the heart of the movie is in the family and their dynamics.
What is underrated about Sir Ridley and a lot of filmmakers is the fact that they work with a lot of the same people consistently. I think that is why he’s able to make movies so quickly, because cinematographers like Dariusz Wolski and editors like Claire Simpson make the job easy for him. He even said in an interview when he and Claire were finishing editing THE LAST DUEL, he and Wolski were already prepping shots for GUCCI. To be able to have that luxury with great filmmakers is a huge advantage over a lot of other directors. Someone else who should be noted is Janty Yates, who has worked with Sir Ridley forever and her costumes are always a standout, especially here. But, let’s be honest this movie lives and breathes on the incredibly over the top performances, so let’s get to them.
Stock Up – Lady Gaga
She really broke out of the mold in A STAR IS BORN, and has upped the ante further here. She is completely bout in to the satire of it all and brings it in every scene. Even with all the ridiculous things she does (like ordering her husband dead), you still feel for her at the end because of the Gaga performance. I think Gaga can really choose at this point what she wants to do because she is clearly multi talented.
Stock Neutral – Adam Driver
I just talked about him in DUEL, but he will stay near the top of my PFP rankings at this year’s Juicy Awards. He continues to choose smart projects, with noted directors, and it results in great performances, in good movies. There really is not much more to say other than his one flaw might be that his sexual chemistry with most on screen pairs is not jumping off the screen. He can get it done, but he feels semi wooden usually during romantic scenes.
Stock Up – Jared Leto
What can you say about this guy at this point. He was completely and totally unrecognizable as Paolo Gucci, to the point where I forgot it was him. He plays a fat, balding man with a crazy Italian Accent which is a long way from the beautiful, rock star, Oscar winner we know Leto to be. Some people will say it is Camp or too Hammed up, but man what is acting if we cannot see someone do this. Every time he spoke I laughed, and his scenes with Gaga, Jeremy Irons, and Al Pacino are easily some of the best in the movie. I am fascinated by this guy and will watch anything he does.
Stock Neutral – Jeremy Irons/Al Pacino
Both cinema legends, who get one scene together that you have to really stop everything your doing if it comes on screen. The way they play off each other not only as brothers in the movie, but legendary thespians is a joy to watch. I would watch both these guys read the phone book to be honest, so to see them dressed up in Gucci and chewing scenery is a treat.
Stock Neutral – Sir Ridley Scott
…He’s Ridley Scott
*A couple other tidbits
- Again, this is easily one of the funniest movies I have seen all year.
- You definitely feel the length of this movie in the middle.
- The first thing I will do when I am rich is buy Jeremy Irons scarf.
This movie was definitely not what I expected when I walked in, but I was pleasantly surprised because we do not see movies like this that often. Most filmmakers would be tempted to make this a serious drama akin to THE GODFATHER or something, but to make this a satire was very smart. I had a lot of fun watching this, even though I know it will turn some off due to the nature of the performances.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my Ridley Scott Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.
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