A Fashionable Succession.

If the audience is anything to go by, the best warning that can be given before you see House of Gucci is to sit close to an exit so a quick dash to the toilet is possible.

If you know nothing about Gucci, other than as a fashion house, then this film will introduce to you the family’s squabbles and murder.  While the cast is immaculately dressed, there is little for those interested in design and ‘pure’ fashion in the film.  Because, let’s be honest, the family’s relationships overshadow Gucci’s fashion offerings.

It’s a cliché but the cast is star studded. Lady Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani who spirals from a likeable chancer to demonic wife; while Adam Driver (Maurizio Gucci) ascends from studious law student to calculating businessman;  Jared Leto (unrecognisable as Paolo Gucci) stumbles through as the ‘idiot’ son who does the only designing throughout the film;  while a suitably regal Jeremy Irons (Rodolpho Gucci) controls the Gucci empire by lording it over both sons.  Al Pacinio is Uncle Gucci who hovers over Patrizia in a creepy leering way. It’s a tight cast but there’s no doubt Gaga’s fab clothes and wiggle win the day. Though Leto’s buffoonery pulls up a close second.

It’s a long movie: it has a lot of ground to cover, about 30 years.  And it’s difficult to see where it could be edited – all of the foibles and fights are necessary and even then there isn’t time to breathe. Patrizia’s descent from adoring to shrew is remarkably short.  So short, in fact, that exactly why she decided to hire assassins seems underdeveloped.

Ridley Scott directs the opulent saga taken from Sara Forden’s eponymous book. House of Gucci (screenwriters Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna) is beautifully shot (Dariusz Wolski); the music is a great mash: hadn’t thought how appropriate George Michael’s Faith is for a wedding march.

House of Gucci is an entertaining and visually appealing way to spend a few hours.  But don’t forget – make it a small drink.

House of Gucci

MA 15+

2 hours 38 mins.

From 1 January.