What is it about fashion and its designers that compels us to gobble up the notoriety encircling them? Clothes, glamour, wealth, sinewy models, otherworldly lifestyles, unattainable for the common folk. But with scrutiny their lives are stricken with tragedy, oftentimes worse than the mundanity of us lesser beings. Certainly no one quests for the fate of Gianni Versace, Halston or Maurizio Gucci. Director Ridley Scott’s goal of vivisecting the relationship between Maurizio (Adam Driver) and Patrizia (Lady Gaga) was inordinately long; on the surface “House of Gucci” is sensuously slick, and the stunning soundtrack (Harry Gregson-Williams) is the rhythmic glue that steadily amplifies every scene. The rise and plummet of the empire was foreshadowed from the onset.
Adam Driver, at his insouciant finest, is the heir apparent of the family business; like “Richard Cory” he was “clean favored, and imperially slim” and oh, “he glittered when he walked”; Driver sears the strut of the entitled, rich boy, cradled, coddled from birth; he oozes with an inbred charm, peppered with naivety that is totally irresistible. Not only is the world his oyster but a banquet, never unrequited. Patricia Reggiani is the diabetic dessert that no amount of insulin can cure; Lady Gaga is magnificent as the rabidly ambitious, cunning conniver who wraps her tempestuous tentacles around his heart and other extremities and augurs his destiny. Excellence was overdone and exacerbated to exhaustion.
Unfortunately, as the marriage fizzles, so does the film; familial loyalty is bamboozled by greed, conniving, and corporate subterfuge; titillation sputters, ennui asserts its yawning head and viewers succumb to boredom, banality.
TWO & ½ STARS