Deborah Ross

Worth seeing for Lady Gaga but little else: House of Gucci reviewed

The decision to have the all-star cast a-speak-a in Italian accents may not have been the wisest one

Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto), Jenny Gucci (Florence Andrews), Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga – the best thing in the film) and Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino, chewing the scenery) in House of Gucci

Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci has been much anticipated. The cast is stellar. It’s based on a luscious, true story (so juicy) featuring vicious family infighting and culminating in a murder. I was thinking Succession, but with luxury leather goods and the hiring of a hit man. It can’t miss, I was thinking. Except it can. Not entirely. It has its moments. But the middle act drags (it’s two hours and 40 minutes long) and also the decision to have the English-speaking cast a-speak-a in Italian accents may not have been the wisest one. There were many times I thought Gino D’Acampo was in the room-a.

This stars Lady Gaga and she really stars. Or, to put it another way, she is fascinating to watch, the best thing in this by a country mile, and manages to disappear inside her character in a way no one else in the cast does. She plays Patrizia Reggiani, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks (her father ran a trucking business) who, in 1970, meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), heir to the Italian fashion empire, at a party and is determined to have him. But also they do fall in love. Maurizio’s father (Jeremy Irons, who shouldn’t be made-a to speak in an Italian accent but is, and does so when he remembers) is dead set against their marriage and breaks off all contact. But Uncle Aldo (Al Pacino, totally chewing the scenery) is more friendly and wants Maurizio to become more involved in the business given that his own son Paolo (Jared Leto) is a useless oaf. Paulo is written as a comic character, and Leto plays it for comedy, which made these scenes not only feel as if they were from a different film entirely but also tone deaf somehow.

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