House of Gucci (2021)
House of Gucci
House of Gucci is a 2021 American biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. The film stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), as their romance transforms into a fight for control of the Italian fashion brand Gucci. Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino also star.
Scott wanted to make a film about the Gucci dynasty after acquiring rights to Forden's book in the early 2000s. The project languished for several years, with a number of directors and rumored actors being considered before Scott and Gaga became officially attached in November 2019. Much of the remaining cast joined the following summer, and filming began in Italy, lasting from February through May of 2021.
The world premiere of House of Gucci was held at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on November 9, 2021. It was theatrically released by United Artists Releasing in the United States on November 24, 2021. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the cast performances (particularly Gaga) but criticized the inconsistent tone.
The New York Times summarized the premise of the film by stating that it "follows the ambitious Patrizia Reggiani as she romances Maurizio Gucci and marries her way into the dynastic Italian luxury label. The family business holds little allure for bookish Maurizio, and the real power is held by his father Rudolfo and his uncle Aldo. If an outsider like Patrizia wants to be a true force at Gucci, she'll have to pit the rest of the family against each other. Eventually, even Patrizia and Maurizio find themselves at odds, and her rage at him soon turns murderous."
- Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani
- Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci
- Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci
- Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci
- Salma Hayek as Giuseppina Auriemma
- Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci
- Jack Huston as Domenico De Sole
- Reeve Carney as Tom Ford
- Camille Cottin as Paola Franchi
- Vincent Riotta as Fernando Reggiani
- Alexia Muray as Silvana Reggiani
- Mia McGovern Zaini as Alessandra Gucci
- Florence Andrews as Jenny Gucci
- Mădălina Diana Ghenea as Sophia Loren
- Youssef Kerkour as Nemir Kirdar
- Mehdi Nebbou as Said
- Miloud Mourad Benamara as Omar
- Antonello Annunziata as Karl Lagerfeld
- Catherine Walker as Anna Wintour
- Martino Palmisano as Richard Avedon
In June 2006, Ridley Scott was set to direct a film about the downfall of the Gucci family dynasty, with Andrea Berloff writing the script, despite the family's dismissal of the project, with Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio rumored to play Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci. In February 2012, Scott's daughter Jordan Scott had replaced him as director and was in talks with Penélope Cruz to play Reggiani. In November 2016, Wong Kar-wai took over as director from Jordan Scott, with Charles Randolph writing alongside Berloff and Margot Robbie now considered to play Reggiani. In November 2019, Ridley Scott was once again set to direct the film, with Roberto Bentivegna writing the script, and Lady Gaga set to star. According to the Gucci CEO, Marco Bizzarri, the fashion house cooperated with the production and gave them full access to their archives for wardrobe and props.
In November 2019, it was announced that Gaga would play Reggiani. In April 2020, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the rights to the film. By August, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Huston and Reeve Carney had entered negotiations to join the cast. Driver, Leto, Pacino and De Niro were confirmed by October. Huston and Carney were confirmed in December along with Jeremy Irons, while De Niro had exited the film. Dariusz Wolski announced his involvement as cinematographer that same month. Camille Cottin joined the cast in January 2021. In March, Mădălina Diana Ghenea, Mehdi Nebbou, and Miloud Mourad Benamara were added to the cast, along with Salma Hayek, who is married to the CEO of Gucci's parent company, François-Henri Pinault.
In August 2020, it was reported that the filming was expected to begin when Scott completed production of The Last Duel (2021). On February 3, 2021, Leto said that the film was still in the pre-production phase and they would start shooting it in Italy in the coming weeks. Principal photography began in Rome at the end of February, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. Several scenes were filmed in early March in the cities of Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinité, specifically in the Italian Alps in the Aosta Valley, which were used to recreate the tourist complex of St. Moritz in Switzerland. Filming also took place in other locations in the country such as Florence, Lake Como, and Milan. At the end of March, they returned to Rome to shoot scenes at Via Condotti. Filming wrapped on May 8.
Gaga explained that she took into account how her long-time friend Tony Bennett "feels about Italians being represented in film in terms of crime", and aspired to "make a real person out of Patrizia, not a caricature." To achieve that, she studied Reggiani's vocal cadence and attitude. She explained: "I felt the best way to honor Maurizio and Italians was for my performance to be authentic, from the perspective of a woman. Not an Italian-American woman but an Italian woman." However, Gaga's Italian accent was met with criticism by Italian actress and dialect coach Francesca De Martini, who worked on set as a dialogue coach for Hayek, and claimed that Gaga's "accent is not exactly an Italian accent, it sounds more Russian."
House of Gucci had its world premiere at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on November 9, 2021. It was released theatrically in North America on November 24, 2021, and in the United Kingdom on November 26. Following its theatrical release, it will also be available to stream on Paramount+.
In the United States and Canada, House of Gucci was released alongside Encanto and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. The film made $4.2 million on its first day, including $1.3 million from Tuesday night previews.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 61% of 172 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "House of Gucci vacillates between inspired camp and dour drama too often to pull off a confident runway strut, but Lady Gaga's note-perfect performance has a timeless style all its own." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 58 out of 100 based on 53 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Allysia Wilkinson of Vox gave the film a mixed review, praising the performances but criticizing the screenplay and writing: "The movie the trailer is selling is actually a little more dishy and wild than the real House of Gucci, which would be a pointless and somewhat perfunctory dud if it weren't for the brilliance, or madness, of the performances." Reviewing the film for The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney wrote: "Ridley Scott's film is a trashtacular watch that I wouldn't have missed for the world. But it fails to settle on a consistent tone — overlong and undisciplined as it careens between high drama and opera buffa."
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, writing: "Adam Driver (who has now played a French squire and an Italian fashion heir in consecutive Ridley Scott movies) and Lady Gaga have legit chemistry together, and it's still a kick to see Al Pacino roaring like a lion in winter. But Hayek and Irons are playing cardboard-thin characters, Leto flounders about as if he's in a movie all his own, and House of Gucci feels coldly calculating when it should have been flush and warm with scandalous sensationalism."
Patrizia Reggiani's response
In January 2021, during an interview with Italian magazine Novella 2000, Patrizia Reggiani approved that Gaga would portray her and commented she "immensely" likes her, saying "she's a genius". However, in March, Reggiani gave an interview to the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) where she stated she was "annoyed" that Gaga had not contacted her to meet her and claimed that "it is not an economic question. I won't get a cent from the film. It is a question of good sense and respect". Later that month, it was confirmed that the producers did not want Gaga to meet her and they were "aware of not wanting to endorse or support the awful crime" she committed, saying Gaga had watched much footage and many documentaries, and read books about her life. Gaga also stated that she has no interest in "colluding" with Reggiani, but her heart goes "out to her daughters... I do care deeply that this must be very painful for them."
Gucci family's response
Patricia Gucci, who is Aldo Gucci's daughter and Maurizio Gucci's first cousin, told the Associated Press, in the name of the Gucci family, they were "truly disappointed" by the film. "They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system." She added, "Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything, but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed". According to Gucci, the three central concerns of the family are the lack of contact with Ridley Scott, the alleged inaccuracies in the book on which the film is based, and the casting of high-profile actors to play people who were not connected with the murder. She also said that the Gucci family will decide what their next course of action will be after watching the completed film. Scott rejected her claims in an interview with Today, saying that that "You have to remember that one Gucci was murdered and another went to jail for tax evasion so you can't be talking to me about making a profit. As soon as you do that you become part of the public domain."