‘House of Gucci’ review: Tale Of Murder Among The Rich

The true-crime story that’s the main narrative engine of director Ridley Scott’s haute-couture potboiler, revolving around the who, what, when, where, and why of the murder of Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver) on March 27, 1995. It involves broken hearts, adultery, jealousy, public temper tantrums, a celebrity psychic, revenge, haggling with hit men and, ultimately, the former head of Gucci lying dead from gunshot wounds on the steps of his office building in Milan. In other words, it’s an extra-large glass of juice served with lots of pulp.

A family-feud melodrama, with numerous members of the famous Italian clan clawing and hissing at their relatives, then forgiving them until it’s time for the next bitchy, undermining comment or betrayal.

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An eat-the-rich drama that reminds us that the one percent are not like you or me, no sir-ee, and that behind every great fortune is a crime, or two, or 12. Scott has dipped into this well before, notably with All the Money in the World (2017), his take on the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III in Rome. You likely remember that film for its impressive, last-minute substitution of Christopher Plummer as J.P. Getty the First after the original actor, Kevin Spacey, became… let’s say morally dubious.

A Method-actor scenery-chewing competition, in which Al Pacino attempts to defend his wide-eyed, sound-normal-THEN-GET-VERY-LOUD crown against fellow Oscar-winner and up-and-coming contender in the category, Jared Leto. (You’ve likely heard about Leto’s prosthetics-heavy, spicy-ah-meatball portrayal of the cartoonish Paolo Gucci. If his performance is doubling as an audition for an upcoming Chef Boy-ar-dee biopic, he pretty much has a lock on the part.) Spoiler: The match ends in a draw.

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