Although it too focuses on an outsider who makes the mistake of fancying themself an insider, "House of Gucci" doesn't have that earlier movie's blistering nihilism. It's a fashion show, figuratively and often literally, and its cutthroat dynamics are lightened with heavy dollops of foam and froth. If anything, its utter fascination with its characters, its refusal to condemn even the most irredeemable of them, gestures toward its most significant and obvious cinematic influence, "The Godfather." There's Leto's dead-on channeling of Fredo Corleone; there's also Pacino and, just as important, Driver's eerie channeling of Pacino in the movie's subtlest performance. You may think of Michael Corleone as Maurizio transforms from a quietly principled Gucci agnostic into the fortune-squandering head of the whole empire, his star rising even as his marriage goes spectacularly south.
But that's more or less where the comparisons end. There is, for one, no "Godfather" equivalent of Patrizia Reggiani, and no one in "House of Gucci" who can ultimately contend with the force of nature that is Lady Gaga. In a movie that delights in its own counterfeit charms, she is very much the real deal.
‘HOUSE OF GUCCI’
MPAA rating: R (for language, some sexual content and brief nudity and violence)
Running time: 2:37
Where to watch: Now playing in theaters
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