From the opening scene voiced by Lady Gaga, you are totally immersed in the Gucci family from Tuscany, who “fought over their own skins.” I’m a sucker for any movie inspired by a true story, but be prepared for a tumultuous ride as Gaga, who expertly plays Patrizia Reggiani, masterfully manipulates Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver.
They come from two different worlds, with Patrizia working as a secretary in her family’s small trucking business and Maurizio finishing law school, having grown up with opulence. Gaga embodies the sensuous, fun loving Italian who sets her sights on Maurizio and guides him back to his family empire, which is run by his uncle Aldo, played splendidly by Al Pacino. An almost unrecognizable Jared Leto plays nephew Paolo, a quirky wannabe designer who is mostly unloved. You have to chuckle when he declares, “I can finally soar like a pigeon,” as Patrizia schmoozes him, promising him his own fashion line. Maurizio’s father Aldo is played as the perfectly cold hearted patriarch by Jeremy Irons, who expresses his concern about the social climbing Patrizia.
As this sad family saga plays out, the once besotted Maurizio gains confidence and believes he can move on with his life in a new direction. The twists and turns continue as Patrizia frequently consults psychic Pina Auriemma, played by Selma Hayek, who ends up having connections with contract killers.
The movie reveals that the Gucci grandfather worked as a bellhop, and got the idea for creating his first leather bag from carrying suitcases for hotel guests. With all the family drama and betrayal, it’s a wonder this company survived. Thanks to a turn of fate by hiring a mechanic from Texas named Tom Ford, played by Reeve Carney, who created a jaw dropping runway show, the brand was rejuvenated. After all the infighting is over, no family members are left in this iconic fashion dynasty, which has gone on to be even more successful than ever.
Director and producer Ridley Scott is known for his stunning visuals and strong female characters and House of Gucci has both. Among his credits are Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, and Black Hawk Down. My movie buddy Carolyn noted that the cinematography added to the ambiance of the era of the late 1970s through the 1990s. She also commented that she was happy to have seen it because it contained all the mechanics of a good movie. I didn’t know any of the history of Gucci, so I recommend taking the ride and finding out the treacherous inside scoop. Do it quickly, because the movie is scheduled through Thursday and might not continue for another week.
Movie times: Click here
Genre: Drama, Crime
Director: Ridley Scott
Actors: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek
Running Time: 2 hours 37 minutes
Rating: R (some sexual content, language, and violence)