House of Gucci is as absurdly entertaining as you might expect from a prestige drama about an iconic Italian fashion house and the romance that led to betrayal, revenge, murder and, ultimately, the downfall of the family who built it.
It’s the story of the ambitious Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) who marries her way into the Gucci family by way of the studious Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). He is less interested in the fashion empire but as she pushes him to wrest power from his uncle Aldo (Al Pacino), a marital rift forms and her anger leads to deadly consequences.
Based on true events, what adds to the decadent fun and ridiculousness of Ridley Scott’s latest cinematic endeavour is that none of his all-star cast is actually Italian. Well, Gaga and Pacino are Italian-American but their naturally thick New York voices are a far cry from Patrizia’s and Aldo’s, as are their fellow actors compared to their characters.
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So, what we have is a film set predominantly in Italy with the cast delivering their lines in English, save a few phrases, with their best attempt at Italian accents. The results are certainly questionable.
Jeremy Irons, who plays Maurizio’s father Rodolfo Gucci, variously stumbles into his usual English voice; Jared Leto sounds like he’d played a few too many games of Super Mario Bros as Paolo Gucci while Adam Driver offers a more restrained interpretation of Maurizio, but his midwestern accent doesn’t quite hit the right notes.
The most attention, however, has been on Lady Gaga’s voice work. The pop star-turned-Oscar-nominated actress recently said that she spoke as Patrizia throughout the shoot. “I spoke with an accent for nine months of that,” she told British Vogue. “Off-camera. I never broke. I stayed with her.”