House of Gucci ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali
When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately… murder. On in cinemas now.
For all the talent on the screen – a cast to die for: Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Lady Gaga, Adam Drive and Salma Haykek and Jared Leto (so covered with make-up that he’s just unrecognisable); all the money which clearly went to secure the beautiful locations in Italy and the vintage costumes; and a real story to draw from which could have given The Godfather a real run for its money, it’s a real surprise that film director Ridley Scott could only come up with something so average.
Yes of course, it’s watchable (though a bit long), but so was Dynasty back in ‘80s, a TV series so close to this film both in tone and script and where the word ‘subtlety’ doesn’t seem to be regarded as a high priority.
It’s over the top, but not enough to be entertaining in a ‘so-bad-that-it’s-good’ type of way. It looks good, but not enough to make you go ‘wow’. It has expensive clothes, cars and villas, but the film doesn’t seem to have any fun with any of that, it doesn’t seem to want to revel in any them, nor it seems to embrace any of the ridiculousness that it trying to depict, preferring instead to tell the story in rather straight and boring manner as we are left watching coldly, from the distance and rather uninvolved, a series of very unlikeable characters.
Which brings me to the cast.
Clearly all those people who are hailing Lady Gaga’s performance as ‘Oscar worthy’ do not speak Italian, hence are not bothered by the fact that her accent is so dreadful, in fact she might as well be Russian. Of course I am Italian and I would pick that up, but it really took me out of the film so many times.
Wasn’t there anyone on the set who dared to say to her “excuse me darling, you don’t sound anything like an Italian person”?
This is of course nothing new in Hollywood. I remember being horrified by Nicolas Cage’s rather abysmal accent at the time of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, but I would have thought that 20 years later a little bit more attention could be paid to get the accent right.
In fact, to be honest, I would take it further that that: hardly anyone in the film sounded Italian, with the exception of Al Pacino maybe, who at least has the excuse that his character lives in America (and a few extras). For crying out loud, the protagonist of this film is called Maurizio and NOBODY ever pronounced that name properly! AArgh!!
But hey, if you disregard the sound, they are all pretty good at doing the right faces at least and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of those names up there on the Oscar stage next year, but throughout the film, I kept finding myself thinking “this would work a lot better once it’s dubbed into foreign languages”… or possibly without sound altogether, which would have helped with those pretty cheap lines of dialogue too.
Clearly not enough time was spent in making the script sparkle, or the characters crisper and more fascinating or even more hateful, if that’s what they were aiming at. Instead, they’re all just a bit boring and bland… like the rest of the film.
It felt like a rushed job on every level (there are even few scenes where the rain seems to appear and disappear according to what angle they cut to, which actually proves my point, that it was done in a rush and they couldn’t afford to wait for the right moment or reshoot or even alter those moments).
There’s a line in the film at some point that says “chocolate and s**t may look the same, but they certainly taste different”, well, I wouldn’t go as far as calling the film s**t, but it certainly not chocolate either and it’s a great shame because they had all the elements to make something really good.
In the end being just an average (and forgettable) thee stars-movie makes this even more disappointing than if it had been a two or a one star movie.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.
House of Gucci is in cinemas now.
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