Basically, a tawdry tale of really rich, highly unlikeable and phenomenally greedy people fighting over a fashion empire. It is of course the true (ish) story of the squabbling Gucci family, centering on the low-born, ambitious gold-digger Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga, owning the movie), who marries into the family and stirs up resentment and betrayal, ultimately culminating in the murder of her husband Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver).
Ridley Scott’s feature-length soap opera is worth seeing. It’s expertly crafted and compelling in a tabloid press sort of way. but it’s easily the most overhyped film of the year, and not without its faults. I felt bludgeoned by two and a half hours of fake Italian accents, though some were better than others. Al Pacino (as Aido Gucci) and Ms. Gaga, being vaguely of Italian descent, come off best.
Jared Leto, however, as Cousin Paolo, a moron with a wholly unearned sense of self-worth (and unrecognizable in a fat suit and several kilos of makeup), is what this movie will be remembered for. Oh, but not in a good way. Leto tends to confuse big acting with good acting, and his performance is cartoonish, over-the-top and insulting. If I were an Italian, I’d take out a contract on the bastardo. He’s clearly shooting for a second Oscar (he took home a best supporting actor statuette for Dallas Buyers Club) but I’m fairly confident he’ll be short-listed for a Razzie this year. Also Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston and Salma Hayek, who are not given enough to do.
P.S. The Gucci family, which now has nothing to do with the fashion house that bears its name, hated this film. And that in itself amounts to a recommendation. (158 min)