Rated R for more people being terrible with one another. There's a pretty aggressive on screen sex scene. Also, the language can be pretty rough at times. Also, A MURDER! But in terms of the film as a whole, it might be a mild R. It's not like the film is going for shocking so much as it is shooting for interesting. R.
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
Can I do three? That's a hat trick, right? I mean, I have the time right now. I'm not feeling all that great, so this is a lovely distraction and the Academy Awards are around the corner. Here's the poop: I was told that I wouldn't like this movie. If I'm not mistaken, the reviews for this movie were less than stellar. Maybe all of that combined meant that, of course I was going to like it. But I can kind of see what people are talking about. I mean, it's just The Godfather with less killing.
Now, while it may be The Godfather with less killing, I would like to point out that I'm not obsessed with The Godfather. It's a very impressive film that I never joined the fandom for. But in terms of structure, all of the beats of The Godfather are there. Only in this case, these are all based on real people who sell fancy clothing. It's weird how the story is laid out. The film is from the point of view of Patrizia. I loved Lady Gaga's performance as Patrizia and I practically have no notes, but it is interesting that we're not really watching for Patritizia. We're watching for Maurizio. Patritizia is fascinating because she goes from small time to impressive before her appropriate fall. Her motivations may be a little muddy, but I really like that. I kept on asking my wife whether she cared about Maurizio at all and I think I settled on that life is nuanced. She saw deep pockets with the name "Gucci" and saw that as opportunity. But I also think that she didn't hate Maurizio, despite the fact that he appeared to be somewhat on the spectrum at times. (I'm really not trying to be crass or insulting. It just seemed like Maurizio at the beginning of the film had issues dealing with basic social situations.)
But at one point, and I'm not quite sure when, Maurizio and Patrizia become this tag team. I'm reading Patrizia as this con artist, but she is very cool with Maurizio divorcing himself from his family and his wealth and now I'm confused. Again, life is about nuance. For all I know, she fell in love with him because she saw something we didn't. Maybe she found it remarkably romantic that he stripped himself of his fortune for her. Regardless, there's this new power couple and it is Michael Corleone in the form of nerdy Adam Driver. Like Michael, Maurizio almost fights his destiny tooth and nail. He knows how toxic the Gucci company is. He wants to be his own man. Yeah, that involves taking his parents' money so he can pay for law school, but you get where I'm going with this. But the same thing that keeps us watching for Michael's transformation is what makes Maurizio interesting to watch. He goes from being "awkward boat guy" to on the run from Giovanni Law because of questionable business practices. While he doesn't have hits made, he destroys people's livelihoods because he can. That's fascinating.
I mean, it's been a while since I could say this, but I think Ridley Scott made a good movie. Yeah, it's odd that he cast Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. (Man, imagine being Paolo Gucci in real life and seeing this interpretation of you.) I'm not sure how I feel. Because I know that it is Jared Leto, I keep seeing a young guy acting like an older guy throughout. But Paolo, for as distanced from reality that performance probably was, happened to be the most interesting character of the entire thing. I love the idea of this corrupt loser who keeps making stupid mistakes because of his own hubris. To top it off, it made it even more enjoyable to watch this guy constantly get dunked on by his family, who all find him to be the worst. It creates a weird dynamic between character and audience. The word "pathetic" comes from the notion of "deserving pity." Paolo is absolutely pathetic. He keeps getting the short end of the straw with everything that passes his way. But never do you feel bad for the guy, despite the fact that his life is absolutely the worst. That comes from the idea that he's morally bankrupt coupled with the fact that he intellectually isn't smart. He keeps bringing about his own downfall, which is just darned satisfying to watch.
But yeah, I do have to complain about it. After all, this will never make a Top 10 list, no matter what the topic is. I mean, I like that Ridley Scott made a movie that I got on board for, but it is far from perfect. Like almost all the Academy Award movies, it is just a little too long. And it's not too long just for anything. It's just a little bit boring. There are all these moments where we kind of get that the dynamic is all screwed up and we have to accept it. Oddly enough, I would probably minimize the Al Pacino as Aldo stuff, despite the fact that I loved seeing him in that role. Aldo, for all the scenes he is in, doesn't actually tie to the main plot as much as I thought that he would. The fact that he can go to prison, get out, and his dynamic doesn't really change kind of illustrates the weakness of the character. But again, I'm being me and I kind of hate me.
But House of Gucci hits more than it misses. Yeah, it's The Godfather. That's fine. But I kind of enjoyed it, whether or not it actually deserved it.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.