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‘House Of Gucci’ May Not Be A Masterpiece, But It Surely Was Fun

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For all fashionistas, the name “Gucci” is undoubtedly familiar. Known for their “GG” monogram logo, the Italian fashion brand has a long history of glamour, greed and scheming. Director Ridley Scott took the company’s history and created the film “House of Gucci,” which details the feuds that occurred over establishing control of the family business. Released in theaters on Nov. 24, the film received mixed ratings, including praise for its cast performances and criticism about its inconsistent tone and historical accuracy. 

“House of Gucci” follows the Guccis, who run a top-tier Italian luxury fashion house. As a family business, they were bound to have disagreements and drama, but the Guccis took it to the next level, using each other as stepping stones to get to the top. Brothers Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons) and Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) disagree on how the company should run and Aldo’s son, Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto), strives to become a designer for the brand despite his lack of talent. Meanwhile, Rodolfo’s son, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), is originally disinterested in managing a fashion house, but he’s eventually persuaded by his wife Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) to take a more active role and turn his family against each other for their benefit. Patrizia and Maurizio use manipulation and schemes to take complete control of the company, unaware that karma always finds its way. 

Photos provided by House of Gucci @HouseOfGucciMov/Twitter

The film features brilliant acting from a star-studded cast. Perhaps it was unexpected for a singer to do so well while playing the main role, but Gaga absolutely stole the show with her charismatic portrayal. Gaga’s performance, which she perfected by staying in character for 18 months and speaking with an Italian accent for nine, brings Patrizia to life and adds complexity to her character. She may seem like a gold-digger at times, but she also seems to be actually in love with her husband. Driver portrays both the timid and the later-aggressive Maurizio well, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats with his every move. All the Guccis are portrayed as  unpredictable, manipulative and completely mad, but that is the fun of watching family feuds, isn’t it?

As a film about a fashion house, “House of Gucci” had to, of course, show off iconic Gucci pieces. The brand cooperated fully with the production of the film, providing full access to their items for any wardrobe or prop needs. Throughout the film, viewers could see signs of the GG belt, Ophidia bag and the classic monogram logo print, making it an exciting sight for fashionistas. Gaga’s outfits and looks were numerous in amount and iconic in style, as she seemed to be prepared for a runway show every time she appeared on screen. 

Photos provided by House of Gucci @HouseOfGucciMov/Twitter

Despite its highlights, the film does have its shortcomings. Throughout its two hour and 37 minute run, it tries to cover so much content involving different parties that it can be overwhelming at times. Viewers are presented with Patrizia and Maurizio’s first encounter all the way up to the demise of the Gucci family, which spans over 20 years in history. The summarization of so much content into a relatively short period of time meant that the film could only pick and choose the most interesting bits to retell and condense the rest, and for the most part, it was not too big of a problem. However, it was hard to keep up with what was happening at times due to inconsistencies in pacing and tone. 

The film received mixed responses from individuals who were related to the historical Gucci family feud. The real Patrizia Reggiani stated that she was happy with Gaga’s portrayal of her and that she liked Gaga “immensely,” but she has also commented that she was annoyed that Gaga had never contacted or met her. Fashion designer Tom Ford, whose character played a part towards the finale of the film, commented that although the real Paolo was an eccentric person, he was far from seemingly mentally-challenged as the film portrays him to be. Furthermore, he addressed an inaccuracy in the film where Maurizio congratulates Ford on his achievements, stating that in reality, Maruizio had already been bought out of the company before Ford was appointed to be the creative director of Gucci. 

Filled with glamour, greed and scheming, “House of Gucci” is a wild ride. Although it has its faults in regards to inconsistent tone and historical accuracy, it is, all in all, an enjoyable film for those who like a little bit of fashionable scheming. 

Grace Tu is an Entertainment Intern for the fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at tug2@uci.edu.