- Ridley Scot
- Run Time
- 2 hours and 6 minutes
VP Content Ratings
- Sex & Nudity
- Star Rating
For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them, and they are caught in the toils of their sin.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
Director Ridley Scott’s sprawling film based on the sad history of the glamorous Gucci family and their fashion empire features some over the top performances by a gaggle of A-list actors. They affect such a thick Italian accent that one is led to believe that this is much a spoof as a straight-forward drama of love, decadence, greed, and murder. Lady Gaga is fascinating as the paragon of social climbers intent on sinking her claws into a rich man’s family so she can enjoy a life of unlimited luxury.
When we first meet her, Patrizia Reggiani is working in the office of her father, who runs a trucking business. When she meets the shy Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a party, she mistakes him for the bar tender. Then, when she learns he is a Gucci, she stalks him, until at last she obtains a date. Eventually he takes her to visit his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), who quickly discerns she is a phony when she identifies one of his paintings as a Picasso. He has done some research on her family, and when she says her father is in the “transportation business,” he is certain she is a gold digger. Maurizio, of course, will not listen to him, and is willing to be cut out of the old man’s will and life by marrying her.
Maurizio is forced to go to work for his wife’s father, but we know this will not be for long. Maurizio’s Uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) likes her and is instrumental in getting his nephew back into the family and its business.
Patrizia slowly worms her way into the affairs of the Guccis, manipulating Maurizio. Lying, cheating, and eventually murder are the results. Patrizia changes from a likeable young woman into a fierce Lady Macbeth, her greed and love of the Gucci lavish lifestyle causing her to over reach herself and bring everything crashing down around her. Lying, cheating, and eventually murder are the results. By the end of the film the Gucci brand survives, but outsiders now run it. The Guccis themselves are no longer involved.
We should mention two other actors who play important characters in the tale– Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci and Salma Hayek as Pina Auriemma. Paolo is the Gucci who longs to be part of the business but lacks talent, Leto playing him as a buffoon. Pina Auriemma is Patrizia’s psychic adviser, whom she often consults. Once Patrizia loses her husband to his mistress, it is the psychic who connects the vengeful ex-wife with the two hit men.
The long film spends so much time on Patrizia’s scheming and rise to power that we are given no details of how she was brought down. After the murder scene there are just sets of intertitles informing us of her arrest, trial and long prison sentence.
As a visual parable of 1 Timothy 6:10, this film, though sometimes confusing, is well worth seeing and reflecting upon.
This review will be in the December issue of VP along with a set of 4 questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.