House of Gucci: Film Review

Universal

Out of Ridley Scott‘s two 2021 movies, House of Gucci appealed to me the most, so I never would have predicted that I’d like The Last Duel significantly more, but here we are.

The film tells the story of how Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) met and married Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) and helped him manoeuvre his way to the top of the family fashion business. The movie begins with them meeting at a party in 1970 and concludes in 1997, with Patrizia being convicted of hiring a hitman to kill her ex-husband in 1995.

Given the premise, I expected House of Gucci to be fun, exciting, engaging, gripping and rather camp but it is bizarrely none of those things. It’s baffling. I would be going too far by calling it boring but the film fails to live up to the shocking real-life scandal that it’s depicting and it feels really long, even though it covers a large timeframe and packs in a lot of content.

The narrative is also bloated and I came away with many questions so I needed to do a lot of research to fill in the gaps and clarify the chronology of events. I know there are probably plenty of filmmaking reasons why certain elements needed to be streamlined (like them having one daughter when they actually had two) but I thought there were too many unexplained aspects – for example, who exactly was Domenico De Sole (Jack Huston)? How was Patrizia’s hitman plot discovered? I also didn’t think the jump between Patrizia’s last conversation with Maurizio and her plotting to kill him felt logical or earned and I would have liked an exploration into her motives and why she felt like that was the solution.

It is also tonally all over the place and that’s basically because Jared Leto as Maurizio’s cousin Paolo seems like he’s in a completely different movie to everyone else. They’re all playing it straight and acting like they’re in a drama whereas he plays this eccentric, larger-than-life Italian caricature in a comedy. His accent is ridiculous (think Super Mario and you’ve got the idea), his acting is OTT and you couldn’t describe his performance as good, but he is the most entertaining person here! He is absolutely hilarious and made me laugh out loud a lot (whether this was intentional or not). I’m not sure why Scott let him just go for it and act so differently to everyone else, but I have to admit he brought the fun.

Gaga has spoken a lot about how committed she was to her performance and her hard work and dedication is apparent onscreen. She is sensational and I fully believed her as Patrizia, plus she has the most consistent Italian accent in the cast. She easily adapts to Patrizia’s journey, from her beginnings as a young and in love person to a manipulative puppet master to a scorned, ugly, desperate woman. She threw herself into all facets of Patrizia and I’ll be amazed if she doesn’t land an Oscar nomination.

Driver, in his second Scott film of the year, does well but he doesn’t really stand out among all the bigger, showier characters, and I also enjoyed Al Pacino as his uncle Aldo – he was a great fit for the part – and Salma Hayek as Patrizia’s clairvoyant and confidante Pina. The accents are dodgy as hell and the worst offender was Jeremy Irons as Maurizio’s father Rodolfo as he still sounded British more often than not.

House of Gucci really is a mixed bag. It’s a high-fashion soap opera with a killer soundtrack, gorgeous outfits, amazing hair and make-up and some fantastic performances but it’s nowhere near as entertaining as it should have been. Real shame.

In cinemas from Friday 26th November

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Little Things: Film Review

The Little Things

Having Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto – three Oscar winners – in one movie would make you think that it’s a sure-fire hit, so I went in with high expectations for The Little Things – and came away rather disappointed.

The film, set in the ’90s, begins with Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon (Washington), a Deputy Sheriff from the Bakersfield area, who is sent to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, his old workplace, to collect evidence for a case. He meets new detective Jimmy Baxter (Malek) who invites him along to a murder scene, which has striking similarities to an old serial murder case Deke was unable to solve. Deke takes leave from his job so he can help Baxter solve it.

The Little Things, written and directed by John Lee Hancock, made me think of ’90s crime thrillers like Seven, Kiss the Girls, and The Bone Collector (another Washington movie) as well as TV procedurals like True Detective so it never stopped feeling unoriginal and familiar. It started off so promising but plateaued shortly after Albert Sparma (Leto) came into the picture because it became less about them working the investigation – finding clues and suspects etc – and more about them being obsessed with nailing this creepy guy; it just didn’t have much of a murder-mystery vibe to it or a ton of substance. I had hoped it was all building to a really cool mind-blowing twist so the final act was anticlimactic and the ambiguity of the ending didn’t do it for me. There are some interesting revelations along the way but not enough to properly reel me in.

Washington is stellar in the lead role. Deke looks tired and defeated and he’s mentally tortured, troubled and could perhaps use some professional help. His partnership with Baxter makes for an unlikely buddy duo but I liked how the two very different men – one who takes an old school approach to the investigation while the other is new – came together to form an alliance for a common cause. While Deke is haunted by his past, Baxter is consumed by the present case and the frustrating inability to nail down Sparma.

There was a lot of uproar on Twitter when Leto got nominated for the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards for his transformative role and I don’t get what all the fuss was about. Sure, it’s not an amazing performance, but it doesn’t warrant that reaction. Leto looks very different, having lost a ton of weight to give him a skeletal-looking face, in addition to dark, sunken eyes, dodgy teeth, and very greasy hair that looks like it hasn’t seen shampoo in a long time. He changed his voice and line delivery too to make him successfully come across like a sinister weirdo.

Given the top-tier cast and the strong beginning, it’s a real shame The Little Things became such a let down.

Available to rent at home via premium video-on-demand platforms from Thursday 11th March

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Blade Runner 2049: Film Review

With sequels, there is always that concern about whether the second instalment with tarnish the reputation of the first, especially one so well-loved as Blade Runner. It was certainly a risk with Blade Runner 2049, which comes 35 years after the original, but luckily they have waited that long to make sure they have created something that is loyal to its predecessor and builds upon its success. No easy feat.

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Suicide Squad: Film Review

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I wasn’t keen on Suicide Squad when it was announced because it sounded awful but I was won over by the trailers and I eventually became excited for it. That was until the reviews came out and, although I tried to ignore them, it was impossible not to take note of the negativity and lower your expectations. But I just want to assure the fans that the film is not the travesty it has been made out to be – it is messy and extremely flawed, yes, but I enjoyed most of it.

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Justice League cast make surprise appearance at Suicide Squad premiere

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I haven’t been to a London premiere this exciting and spectacular in ages and it couldn’t have come at a better time – Suicide Squad really needed a big event like this to lift fans’ spirits following the critical mauling the film has received and the cast made sure it was a lot of fun – and things got even crazier when the Justice League showed up announced! AMAZING!

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Top Films for August

SUICIDE SQUAD

August is here which means more movies for your cinema-going selves! There are plenty to choose from this month but I’ve whittled it down to the ones I’m most excited about.

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Top Films for 2016

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2016 has well and truly kicked off so what better time to look at the movies coming up in the year ahead and get excited about some the releases to come?

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Don’t judge Suicide Squad by its trailer

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The official trailer for Suicide Squad was released yesterday after it was leaked from Comic Con over the weekend. The trailer had been put together to give fans who had queued for hours to get into the panel a taster of what was to come, but Warner Bros/DC Comics never wanted it available for the public, yet they were forced to do so as there were so many poor quality, leaked versions everywhere. This is why I urge you to not judge the trailer – it simply isn’t ready.

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Comic-Con highlights: Suicide Squad, Batman V Superman, Deadpool & Star Wars

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This weekend in film news is ALL about the San Diego Comic Con because so many panels have been held to promote TV shows and movies, and it is pretty hard to keep up with all the news. Basically, for me, the biggest news is the latest trailers for the upcoming superhero films Suicide Squad, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Deadpool. And while it has no new trailer, I was so psyched about the Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens panel that I simply need to talk about it.

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Best Oscars Pictures: After parties

Here’s my selection of the best after-ceremony pictures from the Oscars 2014:

 

Lupita photobombs Jared Leto 

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Then he does the same to Anne Hathaway…

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Lady Gaga and Kelly Osbourne patch up their differences

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Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Jamie King get in the photo booth 

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Best buds Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez cuddle up

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NOW FOR BURGERS…

Anna Kendrick

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Olivia Munn and Emma Roberts

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Hope you all enjoyed!

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