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the house of gucci

★★

director: ridley scott (gladiator, the last duel)
starring: lady gaga, adam driver, al pacino, and jared leto

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately...murder.

Sir Ridley Scott is one of the best filmmakers in history. Period. Carving out classics across genres from more personal dramas Thelma and Louise and Matchstick Men to sci-fi epics Alien and The Martian to historical epics Gladiator and 2021’s superb The Last Duel, Sir Ridley is a master of the craft and one of my favorite.

 

All of which pains me to say that The House of Gucci is Scott’s weakest film in the last twenty years. While The House of Gucci contains all the glamour you’d expect from a film about such a prestigious fashion house, unfortunately, it’s overstuffed and lacks a firm narrative structure and direction.

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.

 

Somewhere, amongst it all, is a great story in The House of Gucci. But narratively it can’t quite decide what film it really wants to be. Is it about family dynamics, business politics, reinventing of a tired brand in the fashion world, or is it about the murder of Maurizio Gucci? 

 

Because of a lack of a firm and clear narrative structure, The House of Gucci feels longer than its two-and-a-half-hour running time. Even though a lot of cinema-goers would equate Ridley Scott to big epics like Gladiator and The Martian, beyond the spectacle are characters that are well developed. In House of Gucci Maurizio goes from this introverted, bookish character with no ambition for or with the Gucci fashion house to suddenly being this cut-throat businessman willing to succeed no matter who he has to cut his way through. It just doesn’t ring true. 

 

Although House of Gucci has an incredible ensemble cast, the issues with narrative, clear direction, and character development have an impact on the performances. Lady Gaga is the best of the bunch, but even her performance seems restrained at times by the film’s failings. 

 

While The House of Gucci contains all the glamour you’d expect from a film about such a prestigious fashion house, unfortunately, it’s overstuffed and lacks a firm narrative structure and direction.

★★