House of Gucci (M18)
159 minutes, opening December 30, 4 stars
With the exception of the sci-fi adventure The Martian (2015), this decade and a half has not been great, both critically and commercially, for director Ridley Scott, creator of the epic The Gladiator era (2000) and the space horror Alien (1979). ).
With this book adapted from the 2001 biography detailing the crime that rocked the Italian fashion house, the British filmmaker is making a nuanced comeback. There are flashes of brilliance here, but also scenes that provide nothing more than scenery to eat for the actors.
It opens in the late 1970s, when Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), a woman who works in her father’s small freight business, meets and knocks down Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), a bookish law student destined to succeed his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), who co-directs, with Maurizio’s uncle, Aldo (Al Pacino), the fashion empire that bears the family name.
The running time of over 2.5 hours is the result of Scott bringing together a mini-series of glamor, real crime dramas, and family politics in one movie.
Note that some of them, especially the behind-the-scenes look at life in an Italian villa, are fantastic. Scott is in his element providing an atmosphere, whether it’s on the Red Planet in The Martian (2015) or in a rustic Italian mansion surrounded by stables.