Ridley Scott’s extravagant melodrama House of Gucci delves into what led to the 1995 murder of Maurizio Gucci, scion of the Milan-based fashion family.
This sordid saga of love, backstabbing and betrayal begins as Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), an accountant at her father’s trucking company, sets her sights on bespectacled Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), whom she meets at a disco party. Although he’s smitten, his suave, snobbish father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) spots her as a crass, social-climbing gold-digger.
Defying Rodolfo, besotted Maurizio marries ambitious Patrizia. Meanwhile in New York City, Rodolfo’s gregarious brother Aldo (Al Pacino) is dealing with his incompetent son Paolo (Jared Leto) – which leads Aldo to offer Maurizio an executive position there.
That Maurizio has a wandering eye is established in a St. Mortiz skiing scene, infuriating Patrizia by flirting with aristocratic Paola Franchi (Camille Cottin).
As years pass, scheming Patrizia becomes increasingly resentful of distracted Maurizio and her lack of status within the estranged Gucci family. Desperate, she turns for advice/solace to TV psychic Pina Auriemma (Salma Hayek), through whom she engages two hitmen.
Based on Sara Gay Forden’s The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed, Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna’s sluggish script overflows with awkward dialogue and extraneous characters. Curiously, Lady Gaga’s line – “Father, Son and the House of Gucci” – was improvised.
After dazzling in A Star is Born, Lady Gaga scores again as seductive Patrizia, while Adam Driver is reticent as mercurial Murizio. But Jeremy, Irons, Al Pacino and Jared Leto ham it up so much that their scenes become laughable. Photographed by Dariusz Wolski, Arthur Max’s production design is stunning as are Janty Yates’ costumes.
Cameos: Jack Huston as formidable Gucci lawyer Domenico De Sole, Reeve Carney as Texas designer Tom Ford, Catherine Walker as fashionista Anna Wintour. And Salma Hayek is married to Francois-Henri Pinault whose firm now owns the global Gucci brand.
Running 2 hours, 40 minutes, on the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, House of Gucci is a flamboyant 5. It’s currently in theaters but will be streaming soon.