The Gucci saga: Lady Gaga, black widow of a luxury empire

Lady Gaga is sublimated as the “black widow” of one of the iconic Italian fashion houses: in “House of Gucci”, in cinemas in France and the United States on Wednesday, Ridley Scott offers a luxury cast to turn a news story into an ancient tragedy combining love, glory and betrayal.

Ridley Scott, who creates cult films (“Blade Runner”, “Alien”, “Gladiator”, “Thelma and Louise”…), delivers his latest opus one month after the previous one, “The Last Duel”.

He takes up one of the most resounding events of the 1990s in Italy: the murder of Maurizio Gucci, heir to the Italian fashion house, ordered by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani.

A cold revenge after years of marriage and ascension in the world of luxury, parallel to the fall of a large family house, sold to a financial group.

Although the film was made without consulting the so-called “black widow”, who was released from prison eight years ago, it seems to have met with the approval of Gucci, which is now part of the Kering group, headed by François-Henri Pinault. The brand’s bags and accessories appear countless times on screen. The actress Salma Hayek, Mrs. Pinault in the city, plays the role of a clairvoyant, an accomplice to the crime.

– D’Al Pacino à Camille Cottin –

Ridley Scott, who got his start in advertising, puts the best of Hollywood into his opulent sets and costumes: Adam Driver plays Maurizio Gucci, Al Pacino injects some of the spirit of “The Godfather”, playing the generation that is about to pass on to Jeremy Irons, and Jared Leto transforms himself (in exchange for several hours of daily make-up) into Paolo Gucci, the unloved one of the family, who ends up bankrupt.

Frenchwoman Camille Cottin is also on hand as Paola Franchi, who seduces Maurizio Gucci and triggers Patrizia’s fury and fall.

Not necessarily the most talkative role of her career (she only appears in the last part of the film), but by far the most glamorous – “it was a lot of fun to be thrust into the Italian jet-set of the 1980s”, explained to AFP the woman who became known in the United States for the series “Ten percent” (“Call my agent” in English).

Above all, the world pop star Lady Gaga has confirmed her status as a full-fledged actress, two years after being nominated for an Oscar for “A Star is Born”. She won the statuette for best song.

– The cat, the fox, and the panther –

In the film, she is a brunette, but her English is tinged with a strong Italian accent to play the elusive Patrizia Reggiani, the daughter of a small-time boss probably linked to the mafia, who is manipulative to the extreme.

From the time they met, through the years at the top of Italian luxury, to their betrayal and downfall, Lady Gaga explains that she wanted to “create (her) own character”, without any preconceived notions about the real Patrizia Reggiani.

“I worked with three different animals” in this tragic story of social climbing, she explained in a press conference.

In the beginning, when Patrizia meets Maurizio, “I was a house cat”. Then, in the middle of the film, when Patrizia becomes all-powerful, “I was a fox. I studied how foxes hunt, they are very playful. And finally, I studied panthers (…) by watching a lot of videos. To hunt, panthers seduce, so to speak. Then they pounce.

In the role of the prey, Adam Driver (as comfortable this year with Leos Carax in “Annette” as he was with Ridley Scott as a knight guilty of rape in “The Last Duel”), has no choice but to suffer.

For Patrizia, from a modest background, “Gucci was a way to survive. It was an opportunity to matter, in a way that she had never mattered in her life,” Lady Gaga analyses.

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