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Review: House of Gucci
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House of Gucci is a highly entertaining combination of comedy, tragedy, and farce, tracing the decline of the Gucci fashion empire from an Italian family business to a global capitalist brand.

House of Gucci would have been the best Martin Scorsese movie in years—if it hadn’t been directed by Ridley Scott. It has all the Scorsese touches: lots of Italians (albeit Italian-Italians rather than Italian-Americans), a plush running time, studies of characters who are seldom admirable but always interesting, excellent acting from a distinguished cast, Al Pacino, and a meticulous, nostalgia-infused reconstruction of another era, this time the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, a time that seems impossibly glamorous, wholesome, and white compared with the present.

Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921 and passed on to his sons upon his death in 1953. The film considerably simplifies the Gucci family tree, focusing on two of Guccio’s sons, Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) and Aldo (Al Pacino) plus Rodolfo’s son Maurizio (Adam Driver) and Aldo’s son Paulo (an unrecognizable Jared Leto).

Maurizio is depicted as a nerd who is targeted for seduction and marriage by Patrizia Reggiani. Brilliantly portrayed by Lady Gaga, Patrizia is a social climber from a less wealthy, less distinguished background. Rodolfo dismisses her as a gold-digger, but she wasn’t. She stayed with Maurizio even after his father cut him off. She was, however, a social climber with a whole cluster of personality disorders. At first, her ambition and lack of scruples served her husband well. She had a child and reconciled Maurizio and his father just in time to collect his inheritance. This guaranteed her enormous wealth and prestige. She enjoyed a lavish lifestyle that is only hinted at in the movie.

But Patrizia could not leave well enough alone. She egged her husband on to take a role in the company. Why in God’s name would you want to run a company if you are not cut out for it, especially if you already have more money than you could spend in two lifetimes? (When Maurizio Gucci died in 1995, his estate was worth \$400 million.) Then Patrizia created a conflict between Maurizio and his uncle Aldo, allying with Aldo’s idiot son Paulo. Aldo eventually ended up in jail for tax evasion. Then Patrizia turned on Paulo, urging him to pursue his own design work then hitting him with a cease and desist for using the family name. Eventually, Maurizio went into business with some shady Iraqis who bought Aldo and Paulo out of the company. Once in charge, Maurizio proved to be a terrible businessman. He cut back on profitable but down-market product lines while expensing his increasingly lavish lifestyle to the company. Eventually, he was forced to sell his shares, leaving the business Gucci in name only.

Patrizia turned Maurizio from a tongue-tied nerd and wallflower to an increasingly self-confident jerk. But he resented her interference in his family. Her social-climbing was also increasingly grating, which is beautifully brought out in a scene in Switzerland where Patrizia is reduced to gibbering insecurity by Maurizio’s old-moneyed school chums. Finally, Maurizio turned his new-found self-confidence against Patrizia, first separating from her then divorcing. He soon discovered, however, that there’s only one thing worse than a scheming wife working “for” him—namely a scheming ex-wife working against him. If you don’t already know the story, I won’t spoil it for you.

House of Gucci most resembles Scorsese’s Casino, in which a quasi-autistic nerd marries a femme fatale, although in Casino the villainess is a junkie and petty grifter, whereas in in House of Gucci, she is the crazy ex-girlfriend from hell.

House of Gucci is great filmmaking that does not insult the intelligence, taste, or identity of white filmgoers. There are no politically correct messages. There is no tendentious “diversity” casting. House of Gucci is Ridley Scott’s best movie since Alien: Covenant and, along with No Time to Die, one of the best movies of 2021. If you see one movie this Christmas season, make it House of Gucci.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: Hollywood, Movies 
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  1. Scott made one work of art: BLADE RUNNER, and it owed in large part to a convergence of so many complementary talents.

    He made some good movies but his body of work is mostly disappointing.

    • Replies: @Emblematic
  2. I really wanted to see that, but it left the local cinemas before I had a chance.

    I wound up seeing NIGHTMARE ALLEY instead.
    It’s OK, but the 1947 Tyrone Power original is superior.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    , @D. K.
  3. “Ridley Scott’s best movie since Alien: Covenant”

    Much-maligned by dullard fan boys who need repetition of the same tingle they received from watching the original. Ridley’s sequel to Covenant promises David’s transition from synthetic human to a god who creates his own dark paradise of alien variants on the planet that the Christian crew of the Covenant intended to colonize. Although now that Disney has possession of the Alien franchise Ridley’s vision will be dumped in favor of something that will ultimately destroy the saga.

    House of Gucci can be paired with All the Money in the World, another Italy-based film by Ridley Scott released in 2017. It depicts the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III by Italian mafia types. Thanks to the Getty family, Californians have the privilege of being governed by one of their stooges, psychopathic liar Gavin Newsom.

  4. @Servant of Gla'aki

    After The Shape of Water I realized Guillermo del Toro’s creepiness was not a good creepy. I will, however, watch his adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness if he can ever get the project moving. I think Lovecraft’s alien creatures will be impervious to del Toro’s interspecies sex kink.

    • Replies: @Right_On
  5. @Priss Factor

    Blade Runner is pretty but boring. Gladiator is excellent.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  6. D. K. says:
    @Servant of Gla'aki

    “I wound up seeing NIGHTMARE ALLEY instead.
    “It’s OK, but the 1947 Tyrone Power original is superior.”

    SPOILER ALERT!

    [MORE]

    My only issue with the original is this: under the Production Code, criminals were not supposed to be allowed to get away with their crimes; yet, the psychoanalyst (played by Helen Walker) rips off the fake spiritualist (played by Tyrone Power), to the tune of \$99,900, after she had conspired with him to defraud her own patient (played by Taylor Holmes)– but there is not even a hint, in what follows, that she ever is to be brought to justice, whether legal or poetic!?!

  7. @Emblematic

    Gladiator? Gladiator?!

    Let’s not be a dammy.

  8. Right_On says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    I hope you’re right, as there doesn’t seem to have been a successful adaptation of one of Lovecraft’s tales, although I’ve yet to see Nicolas Cage’s Color Out of Space, which might pleasantly surprise me. Given how reactionary Lovecraft’s thought was, I wonder if a contemporary film-maker could do him justice.
    Alien vs. Predator (2004) went some way to capturing a Lovecraftian vibe.

  9. Lynch’s blind spot when it comes to the talentless, overacting, ugly Lady Gaga is now confirmed. He gave a shocking glowing review to her hilariously bad turn in the awful Star is Born remake, and now this foot worship of her again.

    Someone check his bank account, make sure her check cleared for him.

  10. …I’ve yet to see Nicolas Cage’s Color Out of Space, which might pleasantly surprise me.

    It’s OK, but don’t get your hopes up very high.

  11. @R.G. Camara

    Someone check his bank account, make sure her check cleared for him.

    Yeah, there’s that.
    Or maybe he just likes different shit from you?

  12. Pheasant says:

    ‘, this time the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, a time that seems impossibly glamorous, wholesome, and white compared with the present.’

    Jesus.

    In what universe did this guy grow up?

  13. Dumbo says:

    “Ridley Scott’s best movie since Alien: Covenant”

    LOL. That’s kinda saying, “Spielberg’s best movie since Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull”.

    Subject seems interesting, but more for a book than for a movie.

    Yeah, maybe if Scorsese had made it, I’d watch it.

    If you see one movie this Christmas season, make it House of Gucci.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  14. i have to bock at any suggestion that the 1970’s was wholesome;

    excuse me

    free love, homosexual openness, drugs sex and rock and role all introduced into the main by upper scale whites . . .

    and i apreciate mr scott’s science fiction films, however

    all around blackhawk down

    as for the alien series after three . . .
    —————

    as for mr del torro —- relations with the creature of the black lagoon has severely tested everything h might be involved in

    —————-

    ”It has all the Scorsese touches: lots of Italians (albeit Italian-Italians rather than Italian-Americans)”

    i found this confusing but i get your meaning italians albeit not italians, but united states citizens portraying italians

    • Replies: @Servant of Gla'aki
  15. miss lady gaga excellent performance — actress — that’s scary

  16. @EliteCommInc.

    as for mr del torro —- relations with the creature of the black lagoon has severely tested everything h might be involved in

    Guillermo enjoys making movies about inter-species love affairs.
    But his greatest love affair, will always be with the chimichanga.

    • LOL: Angharad
    • Replies: @D. K.
  17. Angharad says:
    @Priss Factor

    It is funny until the end. The cop is the BAD guy.

  18. Angharad says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Thank you. I find GagGag to be completely repellent in every way. Ugly, boring, and thoroughly untalented.

  19. D. K. says:
    @Servant of Gla'aki

    Guillermo del Toro has the gravity of the late Orson Welles:

    • Replies: @Servant of Gla'aki
  20. @D. K.

    Welles was fat…but he was a rotund, barrel-shaped bear of a man.

    Guillermo is just a pot-bellied nerdling.

    Many such cases.

  21. Muggles says:

    Gee, a dysfunctional family of rich people, crazy women (ex girlfriends/wives) and all set in the useless “world of fashion.” Oh, in late 20th century Italy.

    I should spend money and time enduring three hours of this?

    The tenuous ties to historical events and period reality notwithstanding, I can read short versions of this sordid tale every day in the Wall St. Journal or weekly in the Globe or National Enquirer.

    Family business falling apart, post-founder, family jealousy, ambitious spouses/exes, etc.

    Is something fresh or new being shown here?

    I guess that is why this was another over hyped film that tanked badly this Christmas. See also West Side Story for another example of Hollywood self immolation.

  22. Oddly, this film came back to my local cinemas, and so I was able to catch it.

    And yes, HOUSE OF GUCCI is a very good movie.
    Pacino, Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, and especially Jared Leto as an Ignatius Reilly-type character, are all excellent. My girlfriend and I both really got a kick out of it. I can’t recall laughing so much at a drama in some time.

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