Pop superstar Lady Gaga once again returns to the big screen following her Oscar nominated performance in A Star is Born with the new Ridley Scott true crime drama House of Gucci.
Exploring the murderous fall of the Gucci dynasty, House of Gucci boasts a star studded cast and is set to hit cinemas later this month.
This is everything you need to know about House of Gucci.
What is House of Gucci about?
House of Gucci tells the true story of the assassination of Maurizio Gucci, the head of the iconic fashion brand. It’s based on the book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden.
Set across three decades, it details the events leading up to, and the aftermath of, the 1995 murder of Maurizio Guccio by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani.
The official synopsis for the film reads: “House of Gucci is inspired by the shocking true story of the family empire behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci.
“Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it’s worth, and how far a family will go for control.”
Who is in the cast?
Stepping into the role of Patrizia Reggiani, the Italian socialite who was convicted of organising the assassination of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, is Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
While best known for her music including hits like Just Dance, Poker Face, Bad Romance and more, Gaga has starred in a number of films and TV shows, including A Star is Born, American Horror Story and Machete Kills.
Speaking about the role in an interview with British Vogue, Gaga said: “It is three years since I started working on it and I will be fully honest and transparent: I lived as [Patrizia Reggiani] for a year and half.I spoke with an accent for nine months of that.
“Off camera, I never broke. I stayed with her. It was nearly impossible for me to speak in the accent as a blonde. I instantly had to dye my hair, and I started to live in a way whereby anything that I looked at, anything that I touched, I started to take notice of where and when I could see money.”
Towards the end of the filming process, Gaga said that the method acting she was undertaking caused her some “psychological difficulty”.
She said: “I had some psychological difficulty at one point towards the end of filming. I was either in my hotel room, living and speaking as Reggiani, or I was on set, living and speaking as her.”
Adam Driver stars as the previously mentioned Maurizio Guccio, the head of the Gucci fashion house at the time. You’ll recognise Driver from projects like The Last Duel, Star Wars, Marriage Story, BlacKkKlansman and Logan Lucky.
While you may not recognise him at first under all the prosthetics, Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Suicide Squad) stars as Paolo Gucci, and Jeremy Irons (Watchmen, The Lion King) as Maurizo’s father Rodolpho Gucci.
Rounding out the rest of the cast is:
- Salma Hayek (Eternals, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) as Pina Auriemma
- Al Pacino (Hunters, The Irishman) as Aldo Gucci
- Mãdãlina Ghenea (Borgia, All You Ever Wished For) as Sophia Loren
- Jack Huston (Manhunt: Unabomber, Mr Mercedes) as Domenico De Sole
- Camille Cottin (Killing Eve, Call My Agent!) as Paola Franchi
- Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful, Snow Falling on Cedars) as Tom Ford
House of Gucci is directed by Ridley Scott, who has directed films like Prometheus, The Martian, Alien and Blade Runner.
What have the Reggiani and Gucci family said about the film?
Speaking to the Associated Press, one of Maurizio Gucci’s second cousins said that the family was “truly disappointed”.
Patrizia Gucci said: “We are truly disappointed. I speak on behalf of the family.
“They are stealing the identity of a family to make profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system.
“Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything, but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed.”
She also criticised the casting of Al Pacino as her grandfather, Aldo Gucci, saying: “My grandfather was a very handsome man, like all the Guccis, and very tall, blue eyes and very elegant.
“He is being played by Al Pacino, who is not very tall already, and [a photo from the House of Gucci set] shows him as fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly. Shameful, because he doesn’t resemble him at all.”
Speaking to the Italian magazine Novella 2000, Reggiani said in January earlier this year that she approved of the decision to cast Gaga as herself, stating that she likes her “immensely” and that “she’s a genius”.
However, Reggiani later said that she was “rather annoyed” that Gaga did not reach out to meet her in real life.
She said: “I am rather annoyed at the fact that Lady Gaga is playing me in the new Ridley Soctt film without having had the consideration and sensibility to come and meet me.
“It is not an economic question. I won’t get a cent from the film.
“It is a question of good sense and respect.”
According to sources from the Sunday Mirror, the decision not to meet with Reggiani was down to the producers.
They said: “The film has been Gaga’s passion project for a long time. She is determined to perfect the role and has been working all hours to get her portrayal of Patrizia right.
“It was decided by producers that she wouldn’t meet Patrizia.
“Authorities at the time of the murder didn’t want journalists to interview her as they were afraid of giving her a platform. The same is said for now.
“The producers were very aware of not wanting to endorse or support the awful crime that Patrizia carried out.”
When will it be released in the UK?
House of Gucci will be released in UK cinemas on Friday 26 November.
While many films have dropped on streaming services at the same time, and sometimes instead of, cinemas due to the Covid-19 pandemic, House of Gucci will only move to streaming platforms once it has enjoyed its run in cinemas.
It has a run time of two hours and 37 minutes.
What are reviews saying?
While the film isn’t set to be released until later in the month, it enjoys its red carpet premiere in London on Tuesday 9 November, giving reviewers their first glimpse of the true crime movie. Many critics took to Twitter to share their initial thoughts.
Entertainment Weekly critic Leah Greenblatt tweeted: “Is #HouseOfGucci a “good” movie? In many ways it’s a mess, but the costumes and the camp accents (“GOOTCH-eeee”) and the pure bonkers Ridley Scott melodrama of it all still felt like a balm for my weary sweatpants soul.
“And if Gaga is not strictly Best Actress material, she is still the soul and tiny-espresso-cut spirit of the film.”
Scott Menzel, from We Live Entertainment, was less than impressed with the film, writing: “House of Gucci is a bloated & uneven mess that feels like two different movies rolled in one.
“Every single cast member acts as though they are in a different movie except for Al Pacino, who seems to have understood the assignment and serves as the films MVP #HouseOfGucci.”
Variety writers Jazz Tangcay and David Canfield however were much more taken with the movie, and Gaga’s performance in particular.
Tangcay tweeted: “@HouseOfGucciMov is absolutely divine. It is murderously delicious. The cast delivers the best performances of the year. Luxuriate with Adam Driver and Lady Gaga whose chemistry and performances are phenomenal. The film is a masterclass in acting.”
Canfield wrote: “Lady Gaga is GREAT in House of Gucci. The movie does not live up to her.”
A message from the editor:Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.