House of Gucci
Directed by Ridley Scott
(2021, BRON Studios/MGM/Scott Free Productions)
At one point in the movie, The House of Gucci, Paolo Gucci, the incompetent cousin played by Jared Leto warns: “don’t confuse sh*t with chocolate.”
This couldn’t ring truer of a tag line for this disjointed mess of a movie.
The movie centers around Patrizia Gucci nee Reggiani played brilliantly by Lady Gaga. Patrizia comes from an Italian middle-class background where her father is in the trucking business. When the fates align to deliver her unto Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), the son and heir to the Gucci empire, Patrizia does everything she can to flirt, fenagle and force her way into Maurizo’s heart and subsequentially the world of Gucci.
Once Patrizia is married into the family, she takes every opportunity and manipulates her husband at every turn to ensure that they scoop up as much control of the iconic fashion company as possible everyone and everything else be damned.
This includes Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino), Maurizio’s uncle who single-handedly turned a fairly successful company into an explosive worldwide brand.
Patrizia bats her eyes, flaunts her smile, and plays the innocent naïve to snake her way into Aldo’s top tier continuously making sure her husband does “their” bidding to ensure that not even a crumb is left behind.
It is now a matter of public record on just how bad the marriage went. Twenty-six year-old spoiler alert: when Maurizio eventually and predictably divorces Patrizia, Patrizia hires hitmen to have him killed.
With a cast as good as Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, and Jeremy Irons, one would think this movie not only would be one of the best films of the year but assuredly would be nominated for Oscar gold.
However, how many times have we seen this play out in Hollywood? Assembling a powerhouse cast, who deliver incredible performances (which is the same here except for Jared Leto…ooph) only to find that those incredible performances are disconnected from the movie.
The problem here is that not only are the respective performances disconnected from the movie, but they seem to be disconnected from each other. Almost as if each actor were filmed on their own sound stage and then edited together with their scene partner’s performance.
Obviously, this is a letdown and there are moments in the film that are “good” but only in the same way you feel a spark about to ignite a flame but alas, nothing comes of it.
If the film is dissected on performance alone, expect both Lady Gaga and Adam Driver to receive Oscar nominations. They, as always, were that good.
However, if the film is taken as a whole…you better not try and taste the chocolate.