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Monday, November 29, 2021

I witnessed the real-life drama behind the House of Gucci film

One of the many extraordinary aspects of this Italian soap opera is how little it impinged on the fashion press back then. There was no social media bringing us minute-by-minute accounts of Patrizia’s latest bombshells in court, or accounts of what everyone wore. Instead, eyes were firmly on Ford and the increasingly glittering court of celebrities around him.

It’s really only now, with the release of the film, that many fans are discovering the full story. Not that it’s a good film. In my opinion, it’s a gold-plated turkey. Way too long – and who decided, in 2021, that it was a good idea to have non-Italians speaking in hammy Italian accents? You would have thought Al Pacino could rustle up a convincing one, but no. Adam Driver’s is all over the place and Jeremy Irons gives up half-way through. Meanwhile, Jared Leto appears to have based his characterisation of poor Paolo Gucci, the one with design aspirations, on Walter from The Muppets. Poor is the operative word. Paolo died in poverty in London in 1995, having burned his way through the $42 million dollars he received for his Gucci shares.

Lady Gaga’s charisma is by far the best thing in it and at least her Mauritanian accent is consistent throughout. She also wears Gucci, on and off screen, with multo brio. This last talent can’t have escaped many, since she’s been dressed head to toe in the brand for weeks as she publicises the film. Together with the captions at the end, which helpfully point out that Gucci is now valued at around $60 billion, you’re left with the impression that the relationship between filmmaker and subject was a bit too cosy for anyone involved to feel confident to properly edit the thing.

La famiglia Gucci is by all accounts, none too happy either, albeit not for artistic reasons. They’re allegedly “considering their next steps”. Ominous words in Gucci land. This opera has legs.

The House of Gucci is out on Friday

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