House of Gucci (MA) - 158 minutes
Lady Gaga packs a hell of a punch in the tangled web that is House of Gucci.
When we first meet him in the late 1970s, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) is a shy, mild mannered man studying law.
He doesn’t show a great deal of interest in the family’s successful fashion empire, which is divided 50/50 between his father, Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), and his uncle, Aldo (Al Pacino).
On a night out, Maurizio meets the strong-willed daughter of a trucking business, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga).
She takes an immediate shine to him, not knowing who he is.
Thereafter, she pursues him and, in spite of the protestations of Rodolfo, before long gets her prize.
Once they are married, Patrizia prevails upon her husband to get involved in the family business.
Because Rodolfo has distanced Maurizio, his “in” is through his uncle, who has a wannabe fashion designer son with bad taste, Paolo (Jared Leto), that Aldo thinks poorly of.
Patrizia is forthright, ambitious, opinionated and persistent.
She pushes and inveigles herself into the Gucci business.
But there comes a point where the gloss wears off and Maurizio pushes back big time as the Gucci empire teeters.
Although, it is a crime drama, House of Gucci takes a lightweight approach to the material.
In short, it is fun and engaging, even if the Italian accents of the stellar cast are a bit of a stretch.
Lady Gaga is dynamic, quite the force of nature as a manipulator extraordinaire.
At the outset, Adam Driver displays a quiet dignity as the man caught up in the maelstrom that is Patrizia.
In terms of affectations, it is hard to move past Jared Leto as the hair-brained son of the effusive Aldo, played as larger than life by Al Pacino.
Jeremy Irons inhabits Rodolfo with a sense of entitlement.
Salma Hayek plays dodgy clairvoyant Pina Auriemma, who can’t believe her luck when Patrizia calls her while she is spruiking her wares on late night TV.
So, House of Gucci showcases a litany of acting glitterati.
Director Ridley Scott appears to have given his stellar cast a great deal of latitude to make their characters their own, which I enjoyed watching.
I dare say there will be those who would have preferred the story to be given more dramatic rather than comedic treatment, but I appreciated House of Gucci for what it was.
The opulent settings and period detail are also hard to go past. The film looks sumptuous.
Rated MA, House of Gucci scores an 8 out of 10.