Posts Tagged ‘Lady Gaga’

The Vatican of Fashion

House of Gucci

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek, Camille Cottin, Reeve Carney

Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Running time: 2 hours and 38 minutes

Oscar winner Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) takes on the role of Patrizia Raggiani, an ambitious young woman who catches and marries the heir to the Gucci Fashion empire Maurizio Gucci expertly played with a suitable amount of noble panache by Oscar nominee Adam Driver (Marriage Story, BlackKKlansman) in the unashamedly decadent new film by director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, American Gangster, Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise) simply called House of Gucci.

Despite the length of this film, it’s the brilliant casting of fellow Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) as Maurizio’s aging but elegant Tuscan father Roldolfo Gucci, Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman) as Maurizio’s flamboyant uncle Aldo and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) as the crazy cousin Paolo Gucci that makes House of Gucci so utterly enthralling and entertaining.

A wonderful tale of a family dynasty that crumbles from the inside out, of a fashion empire, once sacred that gets corrupted by greed, deceit and commercialization that to such a point, the once heralded name of Gucci turns to the young and emerging Texan fashion designer Tom Ford to revolutionize their look for the late 1990’s.

At the heart of all the backstabbing, the pure malevolence and the unadulterated affluence, is two brilliant performances by Lady Gaga and Adam Driver that hold this crazy family tale together. These two actors are the emotional core of a film which at times comes across as a soap opera, quite literally and at other times like the collapse of a deliciously evil empire that let in a scheming intruder.

Audiences should look out for some excellent supporting performances by Anjelica Huston’s nephew Jack Huston as the hard-nosed business advisor to the Gucci family Domenico de Sole and Oscar nominee Salma Hayek (Frida) as the outrageous fortune teller and clairvoyant Pina Aurienna, who influences Patrizia to go to extreme lengths to take revenge on her wayward husband Maurizio.

Similar in vein to Ridley Scott’s other film about an outrageously wealthy family the Getty’s in the Oscar nominated All The Money in the World, House of Gucci is bizarre, flamboyant and entertaining as this Italian family drama of deception, betrayal and legacy extends from Milan to Switzerland to the fashionable sidewalks of New York’s Fifth Avenue.

There are some tremendously funny lines in this film and Lady Gaga and Adam Driver deserve Oscar nominations for their roles as the infamous couple Patrizia Raggiani and Maurizio Gucci, whose fame is cemented in the fashion history books, drenched in recriminations and blood.

House of Gucci is a fascinating portrait of a family collapsing from the inside, of a notorious couple whose love sours into revenge and of a distinguished fashion house which had to evolve from an Italian family business into a multinational corporation as it reached the 21st century in order to remain appealing to the immensely wealthy American and Japanese markets.

For its flaws and crazy foibles, House of Gucci gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 but audiences should see it for the electrifying performances of Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.

The duo are both Gucci guilty and gorgeous.

You Will Never Be Alone

A Star is Born

 

Director: Bradley Cooper

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos, Alec Baldwin, Ron Rifkin

Three time Oscar Nominee Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Sniper, American Hustle) gives a superb no holds bar performance as the frequently inebriated singer Jackson Maine in the third remake of A Star is Born, which he also boldly directs.

The key to the 2018 version of A Star is Born is to fill the part played by Barbra Streisand in the 1976 version in which she starred opposite Kris Kristofferson who won a Golden Globe for Best actor Musical Comedy in the 1970’s version.

Enter pop icon and music superstar Lady Gaga who plays the significant role of aspiring singer Ally who is discovered by Jackson Maine in a Gay Bar (it’s not what audiences think!) as she enters on stage amidst a bevy of Drag Queens singing Edith Piaf.

The onscreen chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sizzles and it’s what makes the 2018 version of A Star is Born so palatable and such entertaining viewing.

Besides some fantastic cutting edge cinematography by Black Swan Oscar nominee Matthew Libatique, who really captures the chaotic energy of live music performances, the actual songs, the music and Bradley Cooper’s superb Oscar worthy acting makes this version of A Star is Born worth seeing.

As the awards season approaches, I am sure that both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will get Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and Actress in a Musical or Comedy. As for the 2019 Oscars, it’s too early to predict, but this is without a doubt the best performance I have seen Bradley Cooper do onscreen as he inhabits the complicated role of Jackson Maine a singer whose addictive personality cannot handle the sudden and glittering fame bestowed upon his protégé Ally.

Ally is egged on at every turn in her rise to fame by a ruthless music manager Rez played by Rafi Gavron. Audiences should also watch out for a solid supporting performance by Sam Elliott as Jackson’s older brother and manager Bobby.

A Star is Born is superb viewing, fantastic singing and a brilliant film to watch ably assisted by Oscar worthy performances by its two main leads whose onscreen chemistry dazzles from the first musical number.

A Star is Born gets a film rating of 9 out of 10 and is a musical treat. Highly recommended viewing.

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