Fashion, passion, luxury, family, betrayal, power, scandal, and disaster. There isn’t any other fashion empire that is so successful and popular while marked by the most tragic and thrilling family stories than the House of Gucci.
Of course, the Shakespearesque drama about the glamorous Gucci family offers perfect material for a film. And so, one of the greatest directors of our time, Ridley Scott, took on the story to bring it to the big screens.
Actually, the biographical crime story is a film adaption of Sara Gay Forden’s novel The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed from 2001. It features several Oscar Winners and Nominees. Among them are Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino.
The Story OF HOUSE OF GUCCI
As usual, even a great catastrophe begins with a beautiful love story. So, also those of Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani. Their story begins at a party in the 70s.
From the first moment, Patrizia is in love with the clever and attractive young law student. On the one hand, Patrizia is a child of the upper-middle class. Her father is a successful but down-to-earth businessman.
However, Maurizio, on the other hand, is the child of an old-elitist family. The family’s aristocratic backgrounds go back hundreds of years.
Of course, conflicts arise immediately. As much as Patrizia tries to please Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo, he isn’t happy at all with the bourgeois intruder.
Right from the start, the young woman has a difficult time in the family. However, it changes with the wedding of the two lovebirds. Because Uncle Aldo from New York, the head of the fashion empire Gucci, learns of this. Aldo asks Maurizio to join the family business. And so, fate takes its course.
Understandably, Aldo’s son Paolo is not at all enthusiastic about it. And so, a family feud of the best Cosa Nostra couleur unfolds.
The Characters of HOUSE OF GUCCI
the career woman: Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga)
Patrizia’s father did not inherit his company like Maurizio. No, in contrast, he worked hard for his modest success.
His daughter respects him for it. But she wants an easier and better life. Blinded by the glamorous lights of the Gucci empire, she quickly falls for it. So, Gucci becomes her religion, and she prays to the father, the son, and the House of Gucci.
As the saying goes that money spoils the character, Patrizia starts to walk over corpses. There is only one person who she would never cheat or use, Maurizio.
Lady Gaga embodies Patrizia Reggiani brilliantly. As she reported in interviews, she trained for a few months to get that authentic Italian accent.
After the big success in A Star is Born (2018), she shows, once again, that she isn’t only an outstanding musician but also a great actress.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, which is her real name, becomes one with Patrizia. Thereby, she embodies her pain, joy, greed, distress, and worries authentically. Her performance is captivating without exception.
The Heir to the House of Gucci: Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver)
Originally the heir of the Gucci dynasty had no fashion sense at all. Of course, he has a sophisticated personal style, but he would much prefer to study law. However, that changes when he meets Patrizia.
She is his first big love, and he tries to fulfill her wishes. Even if she formally persuades him to join the family business. Do both know what the consequences will be?
Adam Driver is one of the rising stars of Hollywood. He already portrayed a lot of memorable characters. So, most people will remember him as Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) from the Star Wars movies. Besides, he is also known for his role as Charlie Barber in the Marriage Stories. For the latter, he even got an Oscar nomination.
Before working with Ridley Scott on House of Gucci, Adam Driver collaborated with the director for The Last Duel. The middle-age-action drama was a big success in cinemas two months ago.
The Head of the House of Gucci: Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino)
While Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo, devoted himself to acting, his brother Aldo has taken over the management of the House of Gucci over the years. It is also he who immediately recognizes Patrizia’s strong influence on Maurizio. So, he flatters the woman in love to bring Maurizio back to the family business.
The reason is, on the one hand, that Aldo considers Maurizio as the hope for the House of Gucci.
On the other hand, Aldo is completely disappointed with his son and his skills as a designer. Contemptibly, he calls him “my idiot.”
Besides, as much as he uses Patrizia’s influence for his own ends, he is just as uninterested in her opinion. Because for Aldo “business is not for women.”
If we look back at film history, there were, and they are, probably only two actors who are the perfect embodiment of the scrupulous Italian. On the one hand, there is Robert De Niro. On the other hand, there is Al Pacino.
And he slips into the role of the Godfather of the House of Gucci. Of course, we all know Al Pacino from Francis Ford Coppola’s amazing The Godfather movies.
Furthermore, he wrote film history with Brian De Palma’s Scarface and Sidney Lumet’s Serpico.
The unlucky Designer: Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto)
Paolo is the black sheep of the family. Instead of taking him seriously, the family members play with him and consider him a fool.
He always tries desperately to get recognition from his family for his work, especially from his father.
Jared Leto stars in the role of the underestimated designer. Once more, the handsome American actor changes his face completely. With his bald head and double chin, as well as brightly colored clothes, he is barely recognizable.
Leto has often shown that he dares to transform, even if it means that he must turn his beautiful face into something or somebody ugly.
Also, as Joker in Suicide Squad, a replicant in Blade Runner 2049, or a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club, he showed his changeability.
Besides, Jaret Leto is the lead singer in the band Twenty Seconds to Mars.
The actor & esthete: Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons)
Rodolfo is an arrogant snob. He lives in the past. Aldo Gucci’s younger brother is anything but enthusiastic when his son, Maurizio, explains to him his intentions to marry the bourgeois Patrizia.
Living in his own world, he fears that the young woman is only interested in the family’s money and fame. But life is short.
So, the moment comes for Rodolfo, when he must decide if he wants to be stuck with his stubbornness, or if he believes in the talent and wisdom of his son.
We know Jeremy Irons from an infinite number of films. Howsoever, the charismatic actor actually started his career on Broadway. So, it is not surprising that he has received many theater and film awards as well.
He is one of the very few actors who achieved the Triple Crown of Acting by winning an Oscar for a film, an Emmy for television, and a Tony Award for theater. Special highlights of his film career are, of course, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Lolita, and The Mission, to name just a few.
THE COSTUMES OF HOUSE OF GUCCI
The wonderful costumes, hairstyles, and make-up round off the imposing picture perfectly. Indeed, the focus of the production was on authenticity.
Therefore, Gucci opened the hallowed halls of their archives to ensure the authenticity of the film production. Hence, the lucky costume designer Janty Yates had the chance to draw on unlimited resources.
Thereby, she found inspiration through original Gucci pieces of the past four decades. And so, the film leads us back to that time in a credible way.
Furthermore, in keeping with the brands’ image, the glossy pictures are reminiscent of covers of well-known fashion magazines. Besides, there was probably no other time when big brands had a greater impact on the development of the video and film industry than in the 80s and 90s.
Regardless of whether it was fashion, perfume, or everyday things like chewing gum, the major advertising campaigns of that time set cinematic standards. So it’s no wonder that later superstars emerged from some spots, such as Brad Pitt.
So, some scenes in House of Gucci also remind us of those great fashion campaigns of that time. However, even if the imagery is very dominant, the story doesn’t get lost at any moment.
It may make some people smile if they compare House of Gucci with those films with those Scott inscribed himself in the Hall of Fame of filmmakers.
Above all, of course, the Alien films rank on the top. And so, somebody may think that the differences are not that big. At least, one or the other designer and fashionista also reminds us of a creature from another world.
Anyway, Scott is known for imposing and elaborate blockbusters. His greatest successes include the Blade Runner films (1982, 2017). Also Gladiator, The Martian, and 1492: Conquest of Paradise – to name just a few. Again and again, Scott showed his many facets. So, with the road movie Thelma & Louise. It made Bratt Pitt a superstar.
In addition, only two months ago, Ridley Scott presented the middle-aged epic: “The Last Duel.” As mentioned earlier, he also worked with Adam Driver on this. Read more in our review of this film here.
With House of Gucci, Ridley Scott is now venturing into the mysterious world of fashion. Just like the brand itself, Scott also offers an all-around package. House of Gucci captivates with humor, tension, love, sex, and drama.
The film casts the viewer under its spell. With a runtime of 157 minutes, one could assume that we would also look at the clock. But not so with House of Gucci. If we look away even for a moment, we miss relevant events. Because the film tells the story of three decades of Gucci’s history. Therefore, it becomes a challenge not even to go to the toilet in almost 3 hours.
When I left the cinema, I was a little down but also very motivated. Because Lady Gaga shows in her role as Patrizia Reggiani that you can achieve anything if you want to. However, everybody should be aware of personal values. She did a great job. Moreover, with her performance, she expresses the kind of modern feminism as women lived it out between the 70s and 90s.
In keeping with the eye-catching fashion, House of Gucci spoils us with sensational pictures. The breathtaking backdrops of the story include Rome, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Gressones-La-Trinité in the Italian Alps, Florence, Lake Como, and Milan.
Besides, the Via Condotti became a unique film set. It is Rome’s famous fashion street. Here, you can find stores from Dior, Valentino, Hermes, Armani, and, of course, Gucci. These spots set the right tone with their beautiful views, architecture, and flair.
It’s a matter of fact, House of Gucci is not a movie for everyone. Fashion grouches should perhaps better stay at home. However, all fashion enthusiasts, on the other hand, and those who love pompous drama and a good mix of humor and crime story, will surely love House of Gucci.
Moreover, when they leave the cinema, they surely will not start to pray to the father, and son, and the House of Gucci. However, it could happen that they feel somehow to have experienced the happenings in reality. That’s the magic of the movie. And, this is real cinema. Thus, we give 8 points for House of Gucci.
Text: Marco Kokkot & Antonia Hesse
Photos & Videos: © Universal Pictures 2021. All Rights Reserved.