House Of Gucci
- Emma Simmonds
- 24 November 2021
Lady Gaga is hypnotic in this wild ride of a true-life crime story from director Ridley Scott
'You will be the queen,' Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) is assured by her psychic Pina (Salma Hayek) in one of House Of Gucci's many out-there scenes. Taking us from the 70s to the 90s across an overblown running time and with the great Ridley Scott at the helm, it's a film that captures Patrizia's rise and fall as she marries into the family Gucci and quickly sets about destroying them.
When we first meet Patrizia she's sweet but no dummy. She works for her father in the transportation business and her life changes when she encounters law student Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a party. Although her eyes light up at the name Gucci and she pursues Maurizio shrewdly, their romance is also a touching one, complete with a mistaken-for-a-waiter meet-cute, a food truck date and fun on a rowboat, and when Maurizio is thrown out and effectively disinherited by his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) Patrizia seems unfazed. However, with her support and enthusiastic encouragement Maurizio is eventually brought back into the family fold by his Uncle Aldo (Al Pacino), and the couple's sudden access to eye-watering wealth ruins it all.
Based on the book by Sara Gay Forden, the screenplay from Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna delivers its fair share of memorable and destined-to-be camp classic lines. The glossy, slightly faded cinematography from Dariusz Wolski is superb, as is the recreation of the fashion shows and family's opulent lifestyle from production designer Arthur Max, while Gaga rocks Patrizia's ever-evolving, stunningly recreated style with characteristic aplomb. As Donna Summer and Annie Lennox wail on the soundtrack, it can be an exhilarating ride yet, given the excessive duration, there are sections where the pace lets up.
But most will be in it for the esteemed ensemble and, on some level at least, they don't disappoint. They each pitch their performances differently, with Leto turned up to eleven in a clownish turn that's good for a laugh, Driver rather more subtle with an accent that comes and goes, while Irons's own attempt at sounding Italian barely even registers. If Pacino gets some memorably furious moments, it's Gaga you can't take your eyes off; she captures Patrizia's descent into something bordering on madness very vividly, inhabiting her in both body and soul, and bringing some fantastic mannerisms and detail to her performance. House Of Gucci doesn't live up to its promise but it's far from a disaster. And the crazier things get the better.
Available to watch in cinemas from Friday 26 November