Kate Picone ’22
After months of anticipation, the thrilling film House of Gucci was released in theaters on Nov. 24. The movie stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. Based on the 2001 book, The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, the film follows Reggiani and Gucci’s marriage from a promising beginning to a horrific end as they and other members of their family build the Gucci empire. While this description suggests that the movie is a documentary, it is much more of a mysterious thriller drama, featuring betrayal, greed, revenge, and even murder.
However, some critics and moviegoers have criticized the message that Gaga seems to send with her portrayal of the scorned ex-wife. She said in an interview with NPR that she wanted to tell a story about women and survival, rather than focusing on the violence of Reggiani’s actions. However, the actress did admit that Reggiani ultimately did turn into a monster. Indeed, in real life, Reggiani was convicted of having her husband killed after he had many affairs and treated her poorly when all she had done was support him. She came from humble beginnings, and once she married into the Gucci family, her ambition began to grow. Reggiani had a good head for business, but the Gucci family did not take her seriously because of their own sexism. Although she came up with many ideas to grow the brand and shape it into what it is today, time and time again, she was not credited for her efforts. This lack of recognition, combined with how Reggiani’s husband treated her, informed Gaga’s performance.
Another critique of the film is the actors’ accents, especially Gaga’s, with many noting how it changes throughout the film. However, Gaga spent nine months with a vocal coach in order to perfect her Italian accent and has expressed in multiple interviews that she altered her accent throughout the movie on purpose. She wanted to make it specific to Reggiani’s progression in life, beginning the movie with a higher pitch in her voice, and as the film goes on, making her voice lower and stronger, to reflect how Reggiani was innocent when she first entered the Gucci family and how the brand and her marriage changed her.
Despite these critiques, the film has become an immediate hit, with people rushing to theaters when it came out and continuing to do so. It has grossed 21.4 million dollars at the box office, scored a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, and received a 7/10 rating on IMDb. For those who have not seen House of Gucci yet, it’s definitely worth checking out over the winter break.