House of Gucci – The Lady Who Stole The Show

Lady Gaga flamboyantly adds a drop of poison to the cup of Italy's wealthy family dynasty stirring up the biggest fashion scandal of the past century.

by Violetta Efimova


Based on Sara Gay Forden's 2001 book and directed by illustrious Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (2021), originally conceived as a crime story of real tragic events spiced up by pure Italian temper, is still imbued with blazing colors of pure festive Americanism, despite Italian music, Tuscan landscapes and deliberately heavy Italian accent. Though the country's exquisite authenticity is only a beautiful background image and it doesn't look like an integral part of the whole drama.
Lady Gucci played by another Lady was a clean shot — and Gaga skillfully paves the way of evolution from "you're not Gucci" victim to revengeful, tenacious businesswoman. The funeral scene draws a fine line between two different Patrizias: a frivolous girl wearing dresses of glaring colors and light-heartedly flirting with her boyfriend and then husband Maurizio (played by stylish-as-ever Adam Driver) passes the torch to a shrewd gold digger dressed in black. Patrizia intends to turn the tables on Maurizio who's about to supersede his father Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons) and take over the family business. Gradually, the frivolous girl's admiration turns into literal contempt for her husband.

In fact, it's not only Lady Gaga's character who goes through such an essential transformation when it comes to family inheritance. Aldo Gucci, played by impeccable Al Pacino, literally the only Gucci aside from Maurizio to accept Patrizia into the family and seemingly a generous uncle in the very beginning, joins the intrafamily fight for costly stock. This is where all firm bonds are torn completely — and the son's treason means nothing.

Eventually, everyone is involved in this ruthless business game: starting from Patrizia scheming against "the trash" of the family and her short-lived alliance with Paolo and ending with Maurizio abandoning all his conscientious principles. Even being on the same side of the barricade, Patrizia and Maurizio are even more alienated than before — and Gucci finally sees his father's rightfulness which will consequently lead to the tragedy.
On top of all the complications there's a black sheep even in the Gucci family. Aldo's cloying son, Paolo, is considered an underdog by the whole kin, but amuses himself with the thought of becoming a great fashion designer one day. Dressed ultra-foppishly in a pink velvet suit, Jared Leto, who impersonates Paolo (and goes through a transformation more external than internal), manages to stay with the same face expression during the whole film, but to masterfully convey idiotic unpretentiousness from time to time complemented by some inarticulate sounds.
House of Gucci is the kind of story where behind glamorous chic of dresses and sumptuous parties hides not the distress of a fallen apart family, but the relentless cruelty of a huge corporation where there's no place for kin bonds. Ridley Scott may succeed in elaborating this drama — but separately from pure and genuine Italian tragedy.
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