It was probably Aldo Gucci who started the story that the family descended from noble saddlers to medieval courts, when his father and company founder Guccio Gucci actually started his career at the Savoy Hotel in London before d ” open a small boutique in his native Florence. , Italy.
The film focuses on the story of Maurizio Gucci and his wife, Patrizia, as her ambitions to be part of a world of extreme wealth and power led her to orchestrate his murder in 1995. Played by Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, Patrizia and Maurizio are part of a constellation of characters in the film, which also includes Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), his uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) and his cousin Paolo (Jared Leto), among others.
The screenplay is credited to Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna, based on a story by Johnston who adapted Sara Gay Forden’s 2000 book “House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamor and Greed”. (Have many other movies taken a book’s subtitle so strongly as a guideline?)
The film compresses and rationalizes the story – Patrizia and Maurizio had two daughters, not one; Aldo Gucci had three sons, not just Paolo; Maurizio has been shot four times, not just three – with the book devoting much more space to the business machinations and seemingly endless lawsuits that family members would bring against each other.
Roberto Gucci, one of Aldo Gucci’s sons who is not portrayed in the film, went on to run a small leather goods business in Florence after selling his shares in the family business. all their mistakes. Who doesn’t make mistakes? “
The film ends with a map that carefully acknowledges the current leadership of the company and also notes that it is currently estimated to be worth $ 60 billion, well beyond the scale of the company during the time period depicted. in history. Still, “House of Gucci” can only strive to capture the larger-than-life aspects of the Gucci family and loved ones.
Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga)
When Patrizia and Maurizio were together, the Italian press dubbed her “the Joan Collins of Monte Napoleone”, in reference to an upscale shopping street in Milan. During the trial, she will become “The Black Widow”. (She is also sometimes referred to in the press as “Lady Gucci,” a premonitory irony for the woman who would later be portrayed onscreen by Lady Gaga.) Sentenced to 29 years in prison for orchestrating the murder of her ex. husband, she was released in 2016 after serving 18 years. She could have been released even earlier, but she refused a work release program saying, “I have never worked a day in my life and I have no plans to start now.
In the years since his release, Reggiani apparently can’t help but find his way back into the limelight. Asked by paparazzi in the street why she hired a gunman to kill Maurizio rather than doing it herself, she replied, “My eyesight is not that good, I didn’t want to miss it. According to the new afterword to the film edition of Forden’s book, in November 2020, Reggiani prevailed in a case before the Supreme Court of Italy in which his two daughters attempted to prevent him from continuing to receive a substantial pension from the Gucci estate. In 2014, she said: “I still feel like a Gucci – in fact, the most Gucci of them all. She also recently expressed her dismay to the Italian press that Lady Gaga had not reached out to speak to her prior to filming.
Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver)
Maurizio Gucci would go from reluctantly joining his family business to ruthlessly ousting those close to him to implement the vision he was convinced would save the business. His lavish spending and lackluster management left the company in a rush when it finally relinquished control.
In Forden’s book, as Maurizio steps into the business, his own father, Rodolfo, tells Patrizia: “Once he has money and power, he will change. Those words would prove to be prophetic, as Maurizio would eventually kick his own family members out of the business. He and Patrizia separated in 1985, when he allegedly packed up and a friend told him the next day that he was not coming back.
In 1993, after Maurizio sold his 50% stake in Gucci to the same investment company he had brought in to buy back the shares of his relatives, there would be no one from the Gucci family involved in the transaction. management of Gucci. He was assassinated on the steps of his office building in Milan on March 27, 1995.
Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino)
Eldest son of the founder of the Guccio Gucci company, it was Aldo Gucci who oversaw the brand’s rise to international heights, becoming a symbol of wealth and luxury. Aldo has woven a complex network of companies, subsidiaries and franchises to license the Gucci name for other products in addition to its iconic leather goods, creating a vast profit engine. With authorities alerted by his own son Paolo, Aldo was sentenced to one year and one day for tax evasion in a US prison in 1986 at the age of 81. In 1989 he sold his shares in Gucci and died a year later.
Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto)
Long wanting to be a designer himself, Paolo struggled endlessly to use his own name on products, attempting to exploit the Gucci brand for his own purposes.
His father, Aldo, had ceded 10% of his 50% stake in the company to his three sons, allocating 3.3% to each of them. When Paolo aligned his interest with Maurizio’s 50%, he tipped the scales to begin the process that ultimately led the family to no longer own the business. He filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and died in London in 1995.
Speaking about Leto’s portrayal of her father, Paolo’s daughter Patrizia Gucci reportedly said, “Horrible, horrible. I still feel offended.
Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons)
Guccio Gucci’s youngest son, Rodolfo Gucci was first a film actor before joining the family business after World War II. His wife, actress Alessandra Winkelhausen Gucci, died at the age of 44 in 1954 when their son Maurizio was only 5 years old. Rodolfo never remarried and worshiped Maurizio for the rest of his childhood. (Maurizio was named after Rodolfo’s screen name, Maurizio D’Ancora.) Towards the end of his life, while battling cancer, Rodolfo premiered “Il Cinema Nella Mia Vita,” or ” The film of my life ”, partly a documentary on his own life and partly a call to Maurizio to safeguard the family heritage.
Maurizio was acquitted of tax evasion after being accused of forging his father’s signature on the share certificates that transferred Rodolfo’s shares to him from Gucci after Rodolfo’s death in 1983. While the film involves only that Patrizia forged the signatures, a longtime assistant to Rodolfo testified that she did indeed commit the act.
Paola Franchi (Camille Cottin)
Tall, thin, blonde and comfortable in the world of the rich – apparently the opposite of Patrizia – Paola Franchi was Maurizio’s girlfriend for the last years of his life and lived with him in his vast palace on the luxurious Corso Venezia of Milan at the time of his death. (Her son, Charly, who also lived there, is not included in the film.) Maurizio and Paola had briefly met as teenagers, met on the beaches of Santa Margherita, and began their relationship after s to be reunited in 1990 in a nightclub. in St. Moritz. Patrizia had Paola deported the day after Maurizio’s murder, filing documents in court just hours after the shooting. A 2016 article in The Guardian reported that Franchi split his time between Milan and Kenya.
Pina Auriemma (Salma Hayek)
In the movie, Patrizia calls psychic Pina Auriemma one night after seeing her on TV. According to Forden’s book, the two women actually met at a spa in Ischia when Patrizia was there with Maurizio, and the two quickly became friends. After being sentenced for her role in securing the assassins who would kill Maurizio, Auriemma was sentenced to 25 years in prison. She was released in 2010.
Hayek, who plays Auriemma in “House of Gucci”, is married to François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, the luxury group that currently owns Gucci. According to a recent Hollywood Reporter article, it was Pinault who authorized the production to use the Gucci name and access the company’s records.
Tom Ford (Reeve Carney)
Tom Ford first came to Gucci in 1990, when the American-born designer moved to Milan. He was promoted to Creative Director in 1994. Ford Creations launched the hyper-luxury, over-sexual style that revived the Gucci brand and transformed it into an international powerhouse far beyond what it ever had before. been before. He left the brand in 2004 and has since launched his own Tom Ford line and is currently Chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Among his many efforts since leaving Gucci, Ford has directed the Oscar-nominated feature films “A Single Man” and “Nocturnal Animals”. In a recent interview with GQ, he spoke about the “House of Gucci” film project.
“I read the script before it was shot, and, you know, for someone who’s been through it, you have to realize that things are glamorized in the movie, because when I read some descriptions of things that were going on and the characters, and what they were wearing, what they were doing – I mean, I was there, and they weren’t that glamorous. I would do the same if I made this movie. I would increase the level of glamor a bit.
Domenico De Sole (Jack Huston)
If the era of Gucci ownership of the Gucci business by the Gucci family could be seen as a ‘Game of Thrones’ / ‘Succession’ style battle, Italian-born and Harvard-trained lawyer Domenico De Sole could to be considered the winner. Hired by Rodolfo Gucci after De Sole stood up to Aldo Gucci in a meeting, De Sole became CEO of Gucci America in 1984 and became CEO of Gucci Group from 1994 to 2004.
De Sole is widely credited with being the commercial mastermind behind the skyrocketing success of the Tom Ford years after Maurizio Gucci sold his stake in the company. Having since served on the boards of many other companies, De Sole currently lives in South Carolina.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.