House of Gucci Brings Action to Theaters


Cate Stanton, Editor-in-Chief

Based on the true story, “House of Gucci” presents viewers with the raw, captivating details of how the Gucci family lost their luxury company. Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons, the movie encapsulates the struggles and hardships of running a family business, especially one worth multi-billions. 

The film is set mostly in Milan, and begins with the love story of Patrizia Reggiani (Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (Driver). Patrizia and Maurizio meet at a party, when Patrizia mistakes him for a bartender. With her charming and outgoing personality, Patrizia continues to pursue Maurizio, an introvert, studying to become a lawyer. Soon after Patrizia convinces Maurizio to take her out on a date, they fall in love. 

A problem prevails when Maurizio’s father, Rodolpho (Irons), meets Patrizia and hears about her father’s career, owning a small trucking business. Because of her family’s lack of wealth, Rodolpho believes she is a gold digger, only using Maurizio to marry into the Gucci family. Maurizio marries her without his father’s consent, causing a divide between the father and son, and leaving Maurizio without a job. He ends up working under Patrizia’s father for a short stint, washing trucks and seeing how the lower class lives. 

Maurizio does not return to the Gucci company until his uncle Aldo (Pacino) invites the newly married couple to his 70th birthday party and starts talking business. Aldo reveals to Maurizio that he views his own son Paolo (Leto) as incompetant and unable to be an heir of the family business, and wants Maurizio to be more involved. Aldo repeatedly tells Patrizia and Maurizio to visit him at the Gucci branch in New York, where he spends most of his time. Patrizia, looking for any way to insert herself in the company, sees this uncle-nephew relationship as a smart financial opportunity and pushes Maurizio to get closer with him.

It is not until Rodolpho gets sick and passes away that Patrizia gets greedy; she is no longer satisfied with their 50% stake in the company and wants more. Patrizia turns Maurizio against his own uncle, exploiting Paolo in the making. She uses fraudulent tax returns to send Aldo to jail, and convinces Paolo to sell his stake in the company as well. Will Patrizia let the power get to her head or will she achieve success within the company?

Gaga, in just her second major film role since “A Star is Born,” took on the role of Patrizia extremely well. In the opening scenes, she embodied her character with a thick Italian accent and an expensive look. Driver, famous for starring in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, followed suit. His character changed throughout the film. In the beginning, Maurizio was the shy, future heir of the Gucci brand, heavily manipulated by Patrizia; however, by the end of the movie, he gained confidence and started making decisions on his own. 

The setting of the movie also helped to portray the reality of the Gucci family at the time. With scenes in Milan, Rome, St. Moritz and New York City, the film demonstrated the Gucci’s worldwide influence. 

“House of Gucci” has had success in the box office, already achieving a five-day opening of $21.8 million, including $14.2 million for Thanksgiving weekend, both of which are record numbers for an adult drama in the midst of the pandemic. Analysts attribute some of the success to director Ridley Scott, who has directed several famous movies like “The Martian,” “Blade Runner” and “Alien,” as well as Lady Gaga, who helps in seeking interest from younger adults and teenagers. Part of the success can also be credited to Al Pacino, who has won numerous awards for his acting career and has starred in popular films like “The Godfather,” “Scarface” and “The Devil’s Advocate.”