What’s a little murder between family? House of Gucci (2021)

You may have heard about House of Gucci being really bad: lurid, cheesy soap opera. You may have read about Lady Gaga’s over-the-top accent and Jared Leto’s outlandish performance. You may have decided that the film is a disaster and definitely no reason to go out to the cinema and risk catching some C-word virus.

The thing is, you’re probably not wrong. House of Gucci isn’t a very good film. Even if The Last Duel wasn’t a surprisingly strong addition to Ridley Scott’s oeuvre, most likely it would still be the weaker Scott film coming out in 2021. But the reasons for this aren’t Lady Gaga’s accent or Jared Leto’s much-reviled performance. It’s true, the accent almost deserves a mention in the credits as a supporting character, and Leto’s performance of Paolo Gucci, son of Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) and scion of the Gucci dynasty, is often grotesque. House of Gucci isn’t subtle or nuanced, and it isn’t The Godfather but with fashion substituting for organised crime. If anything, it’s the panto version of The Godfather.

No, arguably House of Gucci suffers from not being lurid and cheesy enough. It fails because it has several very different ideas of what kind of film it is – and therefore ending up particularly good at none of them.

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Six Damn Fine Degrees #49 – Three generations of songs in A Star is Born

Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!

To me, Julie’s fascinating comparison of the earlier variations of what came to be A Star is Born triggered many a musical memory and it made me wonder how besides plot, characters and settings the musical flavours of this often-remade screenplay had changed over time. Specifically, what would the three Oscar-recognised songs from the Judy Garland version (“The Man that Got Away”, 1955), the Streisand remake (“Evergreen”, 1976) and the recent Lady Gaga iteration (“In the Shallows”, 2018) tell us about each moment this star-making (or -breaking) story hit the big screen?

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