losing it at the movies: blume in love (paul mazursky, 1973)
music friday: otis redding

geezer cinema: house of gucci (ridley scott, 2021)

I often talk about movies that "aren't for me". Usually that means I can see an artistic vision behind a film, assume the director has succeeded in their aims, but that I don't really like the film, anyway. (The Terrence Malick Syndrome.) Honestly, I'm not sure what Ridley Scott wanted to do with House of Gucci, so when I say it's "not for me", I'm speaking of something different. I run hot and cold with Scott ... Thelma and Louise is the only one of his movies I really loved, and movies like Black Rain are best forgotten. No, the reason House of Gucci is not for me is that I don't care about the fashion industry, and Scott doesn't entice me enough to be entertained for more than  2 1/2 hours. I spent those hours wondering why I was supposed to be interested in the Guccis, when I wasn't trying to figure out why it was so long.

It's only fair to note that enough silliness is going on to prevent House of Gucci from being boring. But ultimately, the movie has only one thing anyone will remember: Lady Gaga. The movie walks a thin line between camp and straight drama, and Gaga is right there with the camp aspects. But she delivers the drama, as well. She is easily the best thing in the movie.

Even she struggles with her accent. Everyone speaks with an Italian accent, and at best, the results are variable. ("It’s Time to Talk About the Accents in House of Gucci.") Gaga put a lot of work into her accent, and once you get used to it, it ceases to matter (her performance overwhelms our misgivings). And she's hardly the only culprit. Jeremy Irons works in the fine Michael Caine tradition ... he mostly just sounds English. Al Pacino, the King of Bad Accents for his work in Scarface, sounds like Al Pacino playing an Italian, which is better than nothing. Adam Driver? You got me. And do we really expect Salma Hayek to have a perfect Italian accent? I didn't care, I just wished she had more screen time.

Meanwhile, Jared Leto gives a performance so over the top, I suspect some people will say it's brilliant. It's not.

So House of Gucci is not for me. But it's not a masterpiece that I didn't get ... it's a mediocre film I didn't get, which is not the same thing. But it is still worth seeing for Lady Gaga.

(I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the soundtrack. Blondie, Donna Summer, Bowie, New Order, George Michael ... all this and more!)



Did you ever see "Something the Lord Made" with Mos Def and Alan Rickman? I remember catching it on TV and thinking all the acting was great, but I could not get around Rickman's attempt at a Southern accent.

Steven Rubio

It's funny, we always think the Brits can do American accents, but really it doesn't work out that way (Dominic West in The Wire).


Yeah. I've watched two episodes of Doctor Who that had scenes in America and was struck how many times I said "Uh, people don't talk like this." So definitely not an inherent skill.

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