7.5/10 Coming roughly a month after his last directorial film, Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” came in as my 14th most anticipated film of 2021. While not quite as strong as “The Last Duel”, Scott brings us a highly entertaining, well made film that embraces the comically trashy world that the film inhabits. While the film covers serious subject matter, the screenwriters embrace the absurdity of the actions that these colorful characters enact. I found the humor to be refreshing and effective and not forced in like most movies try to do (everything in the MCU, for example). Before I get to the rest of the cast, it was Jared Leto who stood out the most for me. His transformation makes him unrecognizable and he provided the funniest moments in the film as he portrayed the eccentric and most tragic character, Paolo Gucci. While some people found certain characters over the top, they fail to recognize that some people truly are over the top in real life so to portray them as such is simply being accurate. The cast is stacked with every main actor having either been nominated or having won an Oscar. The two leads, Lady Gaga and Adam Driver are phenomenal and as per usual, the production value from Scott is flawless. Since this takes place in the world of fashion, the costume designs are Oscar worthy and will likely earn a nomination. While the score wasn’t memorable, the soundtrack perfectly fit with the era being displayed. The extravagant and lavish costumes, sets, vehicles and props fill the film with excess and the film provides a warning of how greed, cheating and materialism can corrupt even the most noble of people. There is almost no one to root for in the film as we watch these characters make immoral decisions that lead to their own downfall. No one is blameless here (although Maurizio Gucci has a couple of immoral moments in the film that didn’t actually happen in real life as portrayed in the film). At the opening we are given the words, “Inspired by a true story” as opposed to “Based on a true story”, which leaves more wiggle room for the truth. Despite its two and a half hour running time, much like “The Last Duel”, you will be entertained from start to finish as this is an enjoyable film to watch. It has shades of “The Wolf of Wall Street” as we see characters rise and fall, while making terribly immoral decisions that only benefit themselves. As far as what didn’t work, besides my earlier mention of the underwhelming score and a lack of protagonists to root for, I had an issue with the ending. Without getting into spoilers if you don’t know how this true story ended, a crime is committed and then the film flashes forward two years for the trial. I wish we could have seen how the criminals ended up getting caught, even if done through a quick montage or some onscreen text. I understand that due to the already longer running time, Scott didn’t have time to throw in another half hour of scenes (although he has teased an extended cut coming down the line) but I believe it was a mistake to completely omit that relevant information. Despite these few issues, this is a fascinating parable from one of our greatest living directors. Fill up on some Italian food and enjoy the excess of some fascinating characters.

#DeathToGucci / #ThePastDuel / #TheTaxFraudFather / #RequiemForAScheme / #AfterTheGunThreat / #ItalianHustle

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