Merely mention the word ‘Italian’ and what springs to mind? ‘Hot-blooded’, ‘passionate’, romantic’, ‘family’… so it comes as no surprise that murder, revenge and betrayal form the core of Ridley Scott’s magnificently-cast ‘House of Gucci’. However, the fact that Lady Gaga steals the show as Patrizia Reggiani is a bombshell. Yes, one expects her to be a fashionista of note, but her acting ability far outweighs any of her other attributes (in this movie at least). Her performance is so ‘real’ that one palpably feels the bitterness, greed and manipulation as the emotions sweep over her face!
Casting the Guccis
Over the years, Ridley Scott has built a reputation for crafting films which enthrall audiences with fabulous cinematography, taut performances and enthralling plots… however, ‘House of Gucci’ tops the list, in my opinion, with respect to the actors chosen for their roles as members of the family.
This is more to entice you to the cinema, than give too much away… but, please bear in mind there is only so much which can be contained in a film, so not everything factual has been included and one must allow for ‘poetic licence’. (Many books have been written detailing the Gucci sagas, but ‘House of Gucci’ has been based on Sarah Forden’s ‘The House of Gucci: A sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed’).
The two Gucci brothers and founders of the ‘House of Gucci’ are portrayed by two thoroughly different gifted actors who have fortunately never been typecast and who, only, through a visionary like Scott could have been envisaged as brothers: Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. Pacino, as Aldo Gucci, the tour-de-force behind the establishment of Gucci as a leading House of Couture with especial focus on handbags; Irons, on the other hand, takes on the role of Rodolfo who made a name for himself on stage and screen as Maurizio D’Ancora – father of Maurizio Gucci, portrayed by Adam Driver.
Falling into the clutches of Patrizia Reggiani was an absolute given for this shy heir to the Gucci empire. Bowled over by her overwhelming personality, Maurizio had no clue that she would morph into the vicious, greedy, vampiric creature she became. Aided and abetted by fortune-teller/ TV-personality ‘Pina’ (Salma Hayek), Patrizia plotted, schemed and manipulated her gentle husband until he could take no more … leading to his untimely demise. As the saying goes … ‘A woman scorned …’ I will say no more.
However, before you depart for the cinema mention must also be made of yet another stunning performance from Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci – Aldo’s son. He too, is musician/ singer who has proven his weight as an actor and has also managed to evade being typecast.