The House of Gucci

By Joanna Langfield

“Why? Why? Why?” cries a character (and I do mean character) in Ridley Scott’s take on the infamous Gucci family story. Anybody looking for something fun, or drama, or even just infectiously juicy may ask the same thing.

The elements are sure there. Lady Gaga leads a star-filled cast in the retelling of the notorious Italian design group. Based on a book enticingly titled “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed”, Ridley Scott’s version misses the sensational part. And so do we.

Patrizia Reggiani knows just who Maurizio Gucci is when she spies him at a Milan party. Besotted, he marries her, ignoring his father’s concerns that she’s a gold digger. Soon, Patrizia is establishing her stake in the estranged family, as well as in the business which, frankly, could use a little pizzaz. And maybe a few payments of back taxes.

Gaga, who was terrific in A Star is Born, flaps around in heavy makeup, jewelry and newfound power. But just when we think we know what she’s up to, she’s told to cry sadly and ask for our sympathy. If that had been a sign of the promised madness, okay. If it hinted at her venom, even better. But I quibble. Far more mysterious is how Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto and Adam Driver, who at least starts out with integrity, are allowed to ham it up with such broad strokes they come across as players in an SNL skit. A gangbuster version of this notorious story could have been directed by Tom Ford, Gucci’s creative savior and terrific filmmaker. I’m sure there are all sorts of legal reasons as to why that can’t happen, but boy I, as the kids say, would watch