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Film / House of Gucci

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"Father, Son, and the House of Gucci."

"It was a name that sounded so sweet, so seductive. Synonymous with wealth, style, power. But that name was a curse too."
Patrizia Reggiani

House of Gucci is a 2021 American crime biopic film directed by Ridley Scott. It is based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden, itself based on real events.

The film follows the story of Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani, who was tried and convicted of orchestrating the assassination of her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, the head of the prestigious Italian fashion house Gucci, in 1995.

The film stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci, Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci, Salma Hayek as Giuseppina "Pina" Auriemma, Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci and Jack Huston as Domenico De Sole. It was released on November 24, 2021.

Previews: Trailer #1, Trailer #2.

House of Gucci provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Patrizia shows Maurizio a bunch of Gucci knock-off purses and shoes. He remarks that they're pretty good and he'd actually buy them.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Maurizio and Patrizia had two daughters, Alessandra and Allegra, but for some reason, Allegra is omitted from the film.
    • Despite being instrumental in Gucci's revival and influential in hiring Tom Ford, Dawn Mello, the company's executive vice-president and Ford's predecessor as creative director, is also omitted from the film.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Maurizio and Patrizia married in 1972. However, the film shows them meeting in 1978.
    • Gift cards were introduced in the mid-1990s, but did not gain widespread recognition until years later. A gift certificate would be more appropriate.note 
    • The film depicts Tom Ford as Gucci's creative director before Maurizio is forced to sell his share of the company. In real life, Ford was appointed as Gucci's creative director in 1994, a year after Maurizio had been forced out.
  • Based on a True Story: The trailer indicates that the film was "Inspired by the true story".
  • Beauty Inversion: The usually strikingly handsome and youthful looking Jared Leto is unrecognizable as the overweight, balding and mustachioed Paolo Gucci, aided even further by Paolo's poor dress sense.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Patrizia spends much of the film trying to get Maurizio to embrace his status as a Gucci and be more involved in the business and assertive overall. He does exactly that and ends up turning against her a result.
  • Betrayal by Offspring: Paolo is the one who gathers and provides the evidence of his father's tax evasion and fraud, leading to Aldo's arrest and imprisonment.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Consistent with Patrizia's obsession for the Gucci name/brand (and for that matter, her perceived entitlement to it), she flippantly swears to secrecy by "Father, Son and House of Gucci" to Paolo.
  • Candlelit Bath: Patrizia takes a bath in a jacuzzi with lit candles around her, and drags a clothed Maurizio in it.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Patrizia is shown early on to forge her father's signature on a cheque. Later, it is revealed that Rodolfo never signed his shares certificate, and she forges his signature.
  • Cold Ham: Rodolfo is far less over the top than several of the other family members, but he still conducts himself in a rather dramatic fashion nonetheless. Who else but Jeremy Irons?
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Maurizio begins to embrace it in the second part of the movie when he hooks up with an also very rich Paola.
  • Cool Car: Maurizio is seen sitting in a Ferrari in the trailer.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Aldo is selling cheaply made Gucci knock-off products under the table to boost profits with little regard for the label's reputation or credibility, and is later revealed by Paolo to have been committing tax evasion and fraud.
    • After taking over Gucci and divorcing Patrizia, Maurizio begins using company money to pay for his lavish lifestyle. His business partners blame this for Gucci's poor financial performance and force him to sell his shares in the company as a result.
  • Costume Porn: In a film about one of the most successful fashion houses of all time, there's no shortage of amazing fashion. Subverted with Paolo, whose horrible fashion sense is a minor plot point.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Rodolfo is wary of Patrizia because he suspects she’s only cozying up to Maurizio for his money and the Gucci name.
  • Defector from Decadence: Maurizio starts the film disinterested in the family business and later quite happy to work for his father-in-law's company washing trucks and later pursue a career as a lawyer. Sadly, this doesn't last.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Maurizio is initially mistaken for a bartender by Patrizia, and while charming, is hesitant to spend time partying with her, pointing to his down-to-earth personality.
    • Paolo is introduced wearing a bright salmon shirt while most of the other characters in the scene are dressed in white and blue, signalling how he's an outsider within his own family; he then takes part in a game of rugby with the other family members, but within seconds is knocked down and injured.
  • Excrement Statement: After harshly criticizing Paolo's attempts to design clothes, Rodolfo suggests that Paolo learn from the design of a scarf that the former made. When Rodolfo leaves the room, Paolo throws the scarf on the floor and urinates on it instead.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: After being disowned by his father, Maurizio gets a regular job at Patrizia's father's company, washing trucks. Though it's something of an aversion as he is shown to genuinely enjoy the job and work environment plus doesn't feel any embarrassment or resentment about it.
  • Family Business: Gucci is fully owned by the second generation, Rodolfo and Aldo. This becomes diluted as the film progresses.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: When Patrizia is brought to meet Maurizio's father Rodolfo, she compliments a painting by Gustav Klimt that he has displayed, but misidentifies the artist as Pablo Picasso, then tries to praise it by stating how expensive it must be. This all implicitly factors into Rodolfo's assessment of Patrizia as a lower-class gold digger unworthy to marry Maurizio.
  • Gold Digger: Patrizia is attracted by the Gucci family's wealth, style and power. She also expects to be favored by Maurizio over his family, and notes that she's "not a particularly ethical person".
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Happens throughout the film, especially in scenes between Paolo and Aldo where Jared Leto admirably rises to the challenge of matching Al Pacino's legendary hamminess.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Parental Marriage Veto happens for a reason, your parent's prejudices could be based on reality.
  • Historical Downgrade: Paolo Gucci was a genuinely respected designer who, among other things, was Gucci's chief designer in the late-1960s and helped design the famous double-G logo. Here, he's depicted as a talentless Butt-Monkey who's the embarrassment of the family.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with Maurizio on the morning of March 27, 1995 in his final minutes before the hired assassin finds him, then cuts to the 1970s when he met Patrizia.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Maurizio and Patrizia due to their actors' height difference (Lady Gaga is 5'1" and Adam Driver is 6'3").
  • I Have No Son!: Rodolfo disowns Maurizio for not heeding his insight into Patrizia, forcing him to move in with her family and work for her father.
  • In Da Club: Maurizio and Patrizia meet in a club, where he is mistaken for a bartender because he's wearing a tux.
  • Insistent Terminology: Aldo makes a good point when he corrects Patrizia about some knock-off purses sold on street markets. They are not "fake", they are "replicas".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Patrizia consoles Paola after Maurizio's death... and then immediately has the guards throw her out.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rodolfo Gucci is very harsh in his assessment and distant and snobby in general but he's absolutely correct to be distrustful of Patrizia and see her as only after the family money and prestige.
  • Lady Macbeth: Patrizia spurs Maurizio to take majority share of the company. It works a little too well to the point that Maurizio not only successfully takes over the company by betraying Aldo and Paolo, he also ditches her.
  • Match Cut: Paolo's scream to a car alarm.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Paolo, sick of his father Aldo's open disrespect towards him, goes to Maurizio with evidence of his father's tax evasion, hoping to use it as leverage against him.
  • Not Quite Starring: Grace Jones and Karl Lagerfeld attend a fashion show in The '90s. They're both played by actors (Lagerfeld passed away in 2019 way before filming began and was too old, and Jones is over 70).
  • Not So Above It All: Maurizio spends much of the film looking down on his family for their lavish lifestyle but gradually shows that he's just as capable of the same behavior, to the point of being ousted due to running up obscene expenses that he charges to the company.
  • Only Sane Man: Domenico De Sole is the only one in the film not ruled by their emotions or worst impulses and simply wants to run the business as effectively as possible amidst all the family drama.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After seeing some of his design ideas, Rudolfo gives an absolutely brutal one to Paolo, calling him a hack and saying how he's achieved the impossible by getting him and Aldo to agree on something: Paolo's complete incompetence. The poor guy looks like he's going to break down in tears after it.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Maurizio and Paolo are a fine example of the third-generation curse that dooms so many family business.
  • Riches to Rags: The ending reveals that Paolo lost everything after the events of the film and died in poverty.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After learning that the Italian financial police have arrived at his villa, Maurizio sneaks out the back door, gets on his motorcycle, and drives to Switzerland.
  • Snobs Vs Slobs: Business stagnation problems of Gucci begin to occur when they don't know how to redefine their target consumer.
    Aldo: Quality is for the rich.
  • Spoiled Sweet: A relatively rare male example. Maurizio is from a very wealthy family, but is kind and down-to-Earth (at least initially.)
  • Stealing from the Till: Maurizio misappropriating company funds to mantain a lavish lifestyle is a form of embezzlement and financial fraud in most organizations and legislations.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • Rodolfo isn't the nicest guy around and his disownment of Maurizio is a huge dick move. But he's also the only one of the main Guccis who doesn't participate in any scheming, backstabbing, or illegal activities.
    • Paolo may betray his father, but he genuinely has no idea the lasting consequences that has and genuinely acts with good intentions.
    • Domenico De Sole is similarly the only character not to engage in any seriously unethical or illegal behavior nor is he part of the drama surrounding him and seems to just wants to run the company as successfully as he can. Even his ousting Maurizio at the end is understandable since the brand has suffered under his leadership and he has been charging his extremely lavish lifestyle to the company and he makes it clear it's nothing personal against Maurizio.
  • Twisted Echo Cut: When Paolo is about to wail in anguish, the audio of his scream is replaced by loud car's horn before it cuts to the next scene of Maurizio walking on a street and turning towards the car making the noise.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Aldo Gucci notes that Paolo, who seems to be the family's resident funny guy, doesn't "dress the part for a Gucci", preferring to wear an old and tacky purple business suit, which Paolo finds "chic". He's later seen wearing an equally tacky green suit with black squares.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Paolo is absolutely desperate for the approval of his father and uncle, both of whom openly regard him as a talentless idiot and have no issue saying as much to him.
  • World of Ham: Almost every major character in the film, save Maurizio, Domenico and (to a lesser extent) Rudolfo, is very dramatic and over the top.

"I don't consider myself to be a particularly ethical person, but I am fair."