HOUSE OF GUCCI (2021) – My rating: 8.5/10

House of Gucci is a biographical crime drama directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. Scott wanted to make a film about the Gucci dynasty after acquiring rights to Forden’s book in the early 2000s. The project languished for several years, with a number of directors and rumored actors being considered to be casted in the movie. The film follows the Gucci family, as they fight for control of the Italian fashion empire.  I really enjoyed House of Gucci and thought it should have been nominated for more Oscar awards.

In 1978, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) a young, attractive Italian woman works as an office manager for her father’s small trucking firm. At a party, Patrizia meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), a law student and heir to a 50% interest in the Gucci fashion house through his father Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons). Patrizia aggressively pursues the awkward Maurizio, charming him into a love affair. Rodolfo warns Maurizio that Patrizia is only after wealth and tells Maurizio that he will disinherit him if he marries Patrizia. Maurizio tells his father that he is fine with the disinheritance and leave his family, Gucci and the 50% behind.  The two get married, and Maurizio takes a job at the Reggiani trucking company. When Patrizia becomes pregnant, she sees her child as an avenue for familial reconciliation. She lets it slip to Maurizio’s uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) that she is pregnant. Aldo is delighted by the news and takes the couple under his wing. Aldo introduces Patrizia to his son, Paolo (Jared Leto), who aspires to be a designer within Gucci despite his lack of talent. Thanks to Aldo, Maurizio, and a terminally ill Rodolfo reconcile shortly before his father’s death. Rodolfo writes Maurizio back into his will but fails to sign a document transferring the Gucci shares to him before he dies. Patrizia forges Rodolfo’s signature, giving Maurizio a 50% interest in Gucci.

Patrizia starts to devise a plot to obtain a controlling interest in Gucci by acquiring some of Aldo and Paolo’s shares (the two hold the other 50% interest). She clashes with Aldo over the firm’s clandestine sale of cheap “fake” Gucci products on the black market and begins to consult Giuseppina “Pina”(Salma Hayek), a psychic, for guidance. She manipulates Maurizio, who has little real interest in Gucci, into taking a more active role within the company. Paolo acquires proof that his father has been evading taxes in the United States. He gives the proof to Patrizia in exchange for her promise that he will be allowed to design his own line. Aldo is arrested by the IRS and sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Patrizia lies to the Italian police and tells them that Paolo is not authorized to use the Gucci trademark and the police stop his fashion show by force. Patrizia and Maurizio ask Paolo to sell them his shares, but he rebuffs them and cuts ties between them.

The Gucci story gets more complicated and twisted.  One woman, Patrizia is responsible for bringing down an entire empire and destroying the lives of all the Gucci heads of the business.  Perhaps the Gucci family was not strong enough to hold on to their own business, despite Patrizia.  The Gucci story is a terrible story with a terrible outcome.  I think the film was well done and the acting was superb.  Lady Gaga was brilliant, as was Andrew Driver and the rest of the stella cast.  I really enjoyed House of Gucci even though it was a sad story.  I never knew about the Gucci family and their woes.  I mostly feel sorry for Patrizia and Maurizio’s daughters who are currently married and living in Switzerland with their respective husbands.  I understand that the Gucci name currently stands alone wthout any Gucci family members.  As of February 19, 2022, the film has grossed $53.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $98.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $152.1 million.  On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 62% of 345 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The website’s consensus reads, “House of Gucci vacillates between inspired camp and dour drama too often to pull off a confident runway strut, but Lady Gaga’s note-perfect performance has a timeless style all its own.”  You will have to watch House of Gucci to find out what happens to the family, and the Gucci business. I will say I think this movie was cheated out of many nominations for an Oscar award.  Lady Gaga was absolutely brilliant in this movie and deserved a nod for Best Actress.  House of Gucci is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu — Check It Out!

[HOUSE OF GUCCI is Oscar-nominated at the 94th Academy Awards for Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Totaling 1 Oscar Nomination]


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