The News-Times

‘House of Gucci’ is pure, unapologet­ic decadence


Everything in “House of Gucci” is over the top. The accents. The performanc­es. The fashion. The settings. The runtime. The music. The greed. This movie knows exactly what it is and, sweetie, it is gloriously decadent, ridiculous fun.

There is an alternate universe in which “House of Gucci “is a subtle Italian-language film. Perhaps it’s a more straightfo­rward tragedy. Maybe it’s even a limited series taking the viewer back to the origins of the Italian luxury label, in 1921. But director Ridley Scott, and screenwrit­ers Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna, have chosen the route of operatic artificial­ity. You don’t cast Jared Leto as clownish Fredo-type and have him act against a father played by Al Pacino by accident. Big is the point.

Based on a book by Sara Gay Forden, “House of Gucci” is about the dissolutio­n of the Gucci dynasty. Their reign over the eponymous leather goods and fashion house lasted only three generation­s. But as any new money family knows, by the time the third generation takes over, usually no one is left to remember a time when there wasn’t extraordin­ary wealth and privilege.

And this is where we pick up with the Gucci family, with the business being run by founder Guccio Gucci’s sons Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) and Aldo (Pacino). Scott’s film glosses over the other second-generation siblings in part to streamline an already sprawling story but mostly to hammer in the father-son themes. Aldo’s son is Paolo (Leto), a fool with delusions of grandeur and little talent to back it up. Rodolfo’s son is Maurizio (Adam Driver) who is smart but would rather study law than join in the family business.

“House of Gucci” presents a fascinatin­g and insane story that just keeps getting more unbelievab­le. It was a big, glamorous mess and deserves a big, glamorousl­y messy movie, right down to the performanc­es and allover-the-place accents. But if the idea of watching Leto and Pacino chew the scenery together sounds unappealin­g, this movie might not be for you. Everyone is going for broke here.

And in spite of the absurdity, it is stupidly watchable.

“House of Gucci,” a United Artists Releasing release in theaters Wednesday, is rated R by the Motion Picture Associatio­n of America for “some sexual content, language, brief nudity and violence.” Running time: 157 minutes.

 ?? Fabio Lovino / AP ?? This image released by MGM shows Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in "House of Gucci."
Fabio Lovino / AP This image released by MGM shows Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in "House of Gucci."

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