By Kassidy Hart– With an A-list cast of characters that include Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, and Salma Hayek, I was expecting Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci to ravish me with an unknown world of luxury and wealth – and it honestly exceeded expectations.
The film was released on November 24th and focuses on Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), who came from a poor childhood, and her marriage to Gucci fashion heir, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). Opening with a party scene where the two characters accidentally meet, the film takes viewers through a timeline of their relationship; starting with a very steamy portrayal of young love and progressing into a relationship that seems to only exist for the sake of their daughter. The biggest problem in their marriage proves to be Reggiani’s hunger for power and wealth, which sparks betrayal amongst the Gucci family members and leads to jail, poverty, and even death.
The film is based on the book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden and is a close retelling of the actual events that occurred before the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Going into the film, I had never heard the story of Reggiani and the Gucci family before, but I knew it had to be good in order to have such a strong cast list. When A Star is Born came out in 2018, debuting Gaga as the main character, I became obsessed with her strong ability to transform into a character with depth – just as she did in this film. Adam Driver has always been an adaptable actor, in my opinion, but his involvement in Netflix’s Marriage Story drove me to understand him as someone who can capture powerful emotion. Both of these characters brought their best acting to the table, even convincing me of the accents they portrayed (though I am not from Italy, so this is VERY subjective.) Even Jared Leto’s casting as Paolo Gucci, Maurizio’s cousin, was unexpected but not surprising that he pulled it off so well.
While I enjoyed seeing all the ins and outs of what being a part of the Gucci family was like, seeing the outlandish effects of wealth and power, there have been other mixed reviews – specifically those from the Gucci family themselves. One of the biggest critiques of the film, both from the heirs of Aldo Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani herself, is the lack of consultation received before portraying the family members.
Nick Vivarelli’s Variety article, “Gucci Family Issues Fuming Statement Over Their Portrayal in Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’,” shares the heirs’ statement regarding their reaction to the film that says, “the production of the film did not bother to consult the heirs before describing Aldo Gucci… and the members of the Gucci family as thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them.”
Despite their reaction to the portrayal that is their legacy leading up to Maurizio’s death, other reviews say that the events in the film are barely scratching the surface of all the events that took place. One interesting detail that was not revealed to viewers, according to Nick Allen’s Vulture article, “All the Fights, Heartbreaks, and Madness House of Gucci Left out,” was Paolo’s purpose of his mustache. Guccio Gucci, the founder of the brand, banned anyone in the family from ever having a mustache, so Paolo’s act of growing one symbolized his rebellion against his family.
Unfortunately, viewers have no way of knowing whether or not the portrayals of each Gucci family member are accurate or not or even what other events took place leading up to Maurizio’s murder. But, the film, no matter the accuracy, was a piece of art itself. It told a story worth telling, one with deep characterization and a crime of passion. It kept my attention 100% of the time and even sparked some jealousy within me towards the worries of the wealthy.
For me, this movie received a 4.9 out of 5 and was definitely worth going out to the movie theatre for the first time in over a year.