Trailer Spotlight: Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s BIG BUG (2022)

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It’s already mid January and I haven’t done a trailer spotlight yet. Well, I just saw this on Flipboard this morning and I just had to blog about it. It’s from Jean-Pierre Jeunet who made Amélie (2001), and I haven’t seen anything he’s done since then. I never saw A Very Long Engagement and he’s only done a couple of features (one was a TV movie) and a couple of short films in the past two decades. Not exactly the most prolific filmmaker eh, but probably Mr. Jeunet has other jobs/projects.

In any case, check out the trailer of his new sci-fi comedy:

A group of bickering suburbanites find themselves stuck together when an android uprising causes their well-intentioned household robots called Yonyx to lock them in for their own safety.

This trailer definitely has Jeunet’s quirky signature all over it. It stars prominent French actors: Dominique Pinon who’s been in pretty much all of Jeunet’s movies, André Dussollier, Claude Perron, and Elsa Zylberstein. The subject matter of robots malfunctioning & ‘smart’ tech being a threat on humanity is nothing new, so filmmakers have to be more creative in coming up with the plot to make it fresh. The bright, vivid colors and the French suburban setting with wacky, peculiar characters already sets it apart from the usual brooding, morose sci-fis involving evil androids.

The different style and shapes of the robots have an interesting variety, too. Now this one looks like an even creepier version Robocop, ahah.

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Having just seen I’m Your Man recently, I’m on the lookout for more humorous-but-poignant robot movies. This one looks pretty wild and hysterical, and like most movies about robots, usually it’s the humans who are wreaking havoc on themselves. Set in the not-so-distant future of 2050, I wonder just how advanced AI technology would be… seems plausible enough, though as the kids say in the movie, people seem to think back then that we’d have flying cars by now, ahah.

In any case, I can’t wait to see this on February 11 (my birthday!)… though it’s got plenty of competitions as there are SO many films coming out that Friday: Liam Neeson’s Blacklight, Kenneth Branagh’s long-delayed Death on the Nile, and J-LO + Owen Wilson’s rom-com Marry Me. I’m really hoping there’ll be a screening for Death on the Nile for my Brit crush Tom Bateman!


Anyway, are you interested in seeing BIG BUG?

FlixChatter Review: THE TENDER BAR (2021)

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This is the third film by George Clooney I’ve seen so far, and also his second collaboration with Ben Affleck after they both produced the Oscar-winning ARGO. Both are actors who have become terrific directors in their own right… they have also played Batman on screen, surely an amusing anecdote for superhero fans.

Growing up in Long Island, young JR is raised by his single mom and only knows his absentee DJ father through his voice in the radio. His uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) becomes his father figure who pass along his wisdom and love for books all while tending his bar, appropriately named Dickens.

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The young JR is played with wide-eyed curiosity by Daniel Ranieri, whose relationship with Affleck is pretty warm and affecting. I also like Lily Rabe as his mother whom I’ve never seen before, and Christopher Lloyd is quite memorable in a small role as JR’s grandpa. Having just seen Affleck being a royal pompous @$$ in The Last Duel, it’s nice to see him play a role close to his own self, a Northeaster (though New Yorkers would likely take issue with his Boston accent, ahah). HIs character reminds me a bit of Uncle Frank who has a similar relationship with his niece, though for the most part Affleck is more of a supporting character.

Tye Sheridan portrays JR in his college years and though Sheridan is a good actor, the film drags the most in the second act. Despite my best efforts, I can’t get into the story nor care that much about JR’s journey. The on-and-off romance with his fellow Yale student (Briana Middleton) is more puzzling than sizzling. In fact, I find myself trying to figure out what is so special about this story… So apparently Moehringer won a Pulitzer, but apart from a writer’s journey, it’s unclear what it is exactly to glean from this film.

I think one of my biggest issues with the movie is Affleck’s character… though his performance is good and he’s believable as JR’s father figure, uncle Charlie isn’t fully fleshed out that in the end, I have no idea who he is and what his motivations are. He seems really devoted to his sister and cares for his nephew but it’s not clear why he himself doesn’t have a family. Perhaps I missed something as I was trying to stay awake.

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The script is by William Monahan, who won an Oscar for The Departed, but I can hardly remember much of the dialog. Can’t say this is Clooney’s best work either, it’s just too slow and overly nostalgic. I did enjoy the soundtrack as well as the fabulous 70s wardrobe, but the lack of emotional connection with any single person in the film makes for a rather tedious experience. Unlike the fun 70s music, this coming-of-age drama struggles with getting the right groove.

2-half Reels


Have you seen THE TENDER BAR? Well, what did YOU think?

FlixChatter Review: DON’T LOOK UP (2021)

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In the climate we live in today, with global warming, political unrest AND pandemic wreaking havoc practically everywhere, do we need an apocalyptic movie about an extinction level event? I actually have been avoiding depressing apocalyptic movies these days, though sometimes I’m curious to see something because of the cast. Well, Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is as starry as it gets.

We’ve got Leonardo DiCaprio as an astronomy professor Dr. Randall Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as grad student Kate Dibiasky who discovered a huge comet the size of mount Everest (deemed the planet killer). The scariest part is that the comet is hurtling towards earth at such velocity that humanity only has mere 6 months to deflect it or we’d all be blown to smithereens. It’s a topic that hits uncomfortably too close to home, not just in terms of how divided out nation is in terms of the environment, but also in regards to the pandemic. The ‘sit tight and asses’ approach and then later using ‘don’t look up’ as a campaign slogan are so absurd yet sadly not-so-outlandish given Trump’s initial reaction to Covid.

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McKay’s script hits a few nerves, especially in terms of the growing rise of scary misinformation that’s gotten more and more out of control to the point of humanity survival’s self-sabotage. Now, even if one agrees with every point he’s making here, it doesn’t mean the film is automatically an enjoyable one. I think even a small dose of nuance would’ve worked in its favor, but then again, subtlety and restraint have not been McKay’s biggest strength.

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There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, many of them involving Leo’s character. But for the most part, it tries too hard to be funny as a lot of the jokes don’t land. Some are so way over the top it felt like I was watching an experimental variety show sketch written by interns. Besides, impending doom isn’t exactly funny business, so even when I was laughing, there’s always that nagging unsettling feeling. 

My biggest issue is how McKay writes his characters. Regardless of which side they’re on, they are borderline caricatures that none actually has a semblance of a relatable human being. Leo and Jen are the face of the ‘sane, intelligent humans’ who trust science and use crucial findings to help save humanity. While Meryl Streep as president Orlean and Jonah Hill as her chief of staff son Jason are basically Trump-inspired buffoons who can’t get their heads out of their @$$es long enough to face anything, no matter how dire, if it does not fit their agenda. Jason is definitely modeled after Eric Trump and his character is stupendously irritating.

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The film sure has star power though I can’t say it amounts any of the stars’ best work. Leo and Jen fare better here and McKay allow each of them to shine, which in this case equals to having a moment of ‘going completely berserk.’ This is Lawrence’s first big movie after a few years hiatus and her character reminds me a bit of her role in Silver Lining’s Playbook. 

Meryl and Jonah’s characters are meant to make viewers angry at their blatant ignorance and banality, so in that sense they succeeded. There are moments where I just want to throw stuff at my TV every time Orleans and Jason are talking. Same with the two morning show hosts (Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry) with their trivial feel-good programming. The moment Dr. Mindy just completely lost it during live TV is definitely a highlight here (it must be in Leo’s contract to have at least one freak out scene in his films).

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The most bizarre acting is courtesy of Mark Rylance who admittedly is quite inspired casting as Peter Isherwell, an amalgamation of all of the tech billionaires Jobs/Musk/Bezos combined. Rylance is a brilliant actor and while I understand his character is meant to be peculiar, it was so off-the-wall that it was cringe-worthy. But perhaps Rylance is the only actor in this ensemble who understood the assignment so well that he was actually satirizing his own character.

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The great Cate Blanchett is reduced to playing a variation of Fox News-type, sexy blond anchor. I usually love seeing Cate playing unsympathetic characters but not when her role is stripped off wit nor any kind of charm. Character actors Rob Morgan and Melanie Lynskey have a brief but memorable turns as a NASA official and Leo’s stay-at-home-mom wife, respectively, while Timothée Chalamet plays a skater boy who’s raised as an Evangelical Christian who hasn’t turned away from his faith. The praying scene towards the end is perhaps McKay’s blunt jab against a popular poll findings that even non-believers turn to prayer in the face of death.

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Most doomsday/apocalyptic movies, even the most clichéd-ridden and bombastic ones, still show a slice of humanity’s triumph against adversity. McKay on the other hand, seems to have a very pessimistic view of people as a whole. He deliberately aims for a gloom and doom approach here with no room for even a sliver of hope. As it the whole thing weren’t depressing enough, we’re subjected to a garish Ariana Grande‘s music video [aghast]. I actually have never listened to anything she’s done until now, but I have to give props to her for being a good sport about poking fun of her own pop-star persona.

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At 2hr18 min it’s also too bloated with a bunch of unnecessary scenes that don’t drive the story forward. The first hour was certainly promising, but it quickly became repetitive and verbose. The thing is, nobody likes to be hit over the head with anything, especially a topic so glaringly obvious. At the end of the day, the movie is just too pretentious and self-congratulatory for its own good. It also thinks most viewers lack the intellect to discern its allegory that he spoon fed us to the point of gagging. It’s a far cry from McKay’s previous work like The Big Short which is a biting satire of the financial crisis.

The characters are saying a lot on both sides, but in the end doesn’t the film really offer more insights than what most viewers already know. Though it may seem that way, Don’t Look Up is not as shrewd nor smart as it obviously think it is.

2-half Reels


Have you seen DON’T LOOK UP? Well, what did YOU think?

Trailer Spotlight: Nic Cage in ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

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There are only 10 days left til the end of the year and I wanted to highlight one or two more trailers of movies I can’t wait to see. I didn’t get a chance to post this last week but this trailer is such a riot and of course it’s the PERFECT vehicle for the inimitable Nic Cage!

A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan’s birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.

According to IMDb, the script by writer/director Tom Gormican was featured in the 2019 Blacklist, a list of the most liked unmade scripts. That’s quite a feat that he managed to get Nic Cage to agree to play himself here. He’s such a good sport poking fun of himself of his financial troubles, which makes for such an amusing comedy!

I love Con Air and Face/Off which were both released in 1997, in fact the latter is one of my guilty pleasures! The John Woo thriller is SO ridiculously preposterous but so immensely watchable. That moment when he saw the life-size replica of his Face/Off character Castor Troy is a hoot!!

Nice to see Pedro Pascal in this and they look like they’re having a blast. I quite like Tiffany Haddish too who was apparently handpicked by Cage himself based on a recommendation by his friend writer/ director Paul Schrader. I sure hope the final movie will be as funny as this trailer!


Some fun trivia about the movie courtesy of IMDb:

  • Nic Cage was against the idea of playing himself even as cameo turning down several offers but changed his mind after reading a letter from Tom Gormican that was attached to the script
  • Quentin Tarantino is confirmed for a cameo appearance.
  • Nic Cage will reprise some of his most iconic roles from movies like Face/Off (1997), Con Air (1997), Leaving Las Vegas (1995) and Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
  • He will use Castor Troy’s Golden Guns from Face/Off (1997) in the movie

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  • Tom Gormican wrote the script as a last chance to save his career, he didn’t think it will get made but he just wanted to get attention from the producers when the script was relieved many studies including paramount and HBO expressed their interest but when Cage agreed to the project after reading a personal letter from Tom, he picked Lionsgate because Tom would have the final cut

The movie is due for release in April 22, 2022.


What do you think of this trailer?

FIRST LOOK – Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre

I just saw this came through on Flipboard and I’m immediately excited for it! I love a good action comedy and Guy Ritchie‘s always got a great ensemble cast for his movies. I’ve enjoyed Jason Statham since seeing him in the original Transporter and he’s a lot of fun to watch in action flicks… so long as they’re more on the comedic side (I didn’t care for him in oh-so-serious Wrath Of Man that’s also directed by Ritchie). Apparently this is Statham/Ritchie’s fifth collaboration since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), boy, the Stath still looks exactly the same after 20 years!!

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Here’s the premise per Wiki:

Super spy Orson Fortune (Stath, natch!) and his team of top operatives recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star, Danny Francesco, to help them on an undercover mission to stop billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds from selling a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order

Ritchie is collaborating with The Gentlemen‘s screenwriters Ivan Atkinson & Marn Davies which was witty and entertaining. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we’ve got some new images ahead of the trailer that’ll drop on Thursday.

Interesting that Josh Hartnett has been working with Ritchie lately, he’s also in Wrath Of Man even though it was more of a throwaway character, ahah. I wonder if he’s got a bigger part in this one as the movie star Danny. Fun seeing Aubrey Plaza here, never seen her in an action movie before and I think her sense of humor would bode well with Ritchie’s style. 

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I’m glad to see Hugh Grant working with Ritchie again and he seems to relish in playing baddies in his later part of his career. I remember him saying he loves playing villains as it suits his real-life personality more, I LOVE his dry, self-deprecating sense of humor! The movie also stars Cary Elwes and British rapper Bugzy Malone.

I had to look up the French term ‘ruse de guerre’ in Wikipedia… which is literally translated as ruse of war… ‘an act of military deception against one’s opponent or acts against one’s opponent by creative, clever, unorthodox means, sometimes involving force multipliers or superior knowledge.’ 

Here’s the trailer!

Oooh this looks like a lot of fun! LOVE the inherently comedic tone, and Grant once again looks poised to be the scene-stealer with his Cockney accent. I’m definitely on board w/ this and with this cast.

The movie is released on January 21… Ritchie’s movies are a hit and miss but let’s hope this will be a good one despite being released in what’s generally considered the ‘dump months.’ 


What do you think of this upcoming movie?

FlixChatter Review: I’M YOUR MAN (2021)

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Many rom-coms usually consist of a girl-meets-boy storyline… well, this German rom-com doesn’t quite follow the same formula, as the boy in question is a robot. Alma (Maren Eggert) is a hard-working archaeologist who’s offered to participate in an extraordinary study, that is to live with a humanoid robot for a few weeks as part of a deal to secure funding for her research. The said-robot named Tom has been designed with her specifications, as in what she would find ideal in a man, hence his handsome appearance in the form of Dan Stevens, plus his British accent (apparently she finds men speaking German with British accent attractive).

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The first meet-up at a restaurant is especially delightful and fun to watch. Alma is escorted by the robotic company’s representative (Sandra Hüller) who takes her to her table where Tom is waiting. Given that Tom has been designed to make his client happy, he’s immediately puts on his charms and flirtatious mode. I love Alma’s reaction, a mix of pure bewilderment, skepticism + perhaps also astonishment, of this handsome droid. She launches into a series of quizzes for Tom, from something like ‘do you believe in God?,’ favorite poem, to impossible mathematical deduction, all of which Tom answers perfectly.

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The  dynamic between Eggert and Stevens works well here. Now, even though he looks like a perfect specimen with his deep blue eyes, there’s a certain ticks, such as slight stiff movements and weird head gestures that reminds us he’s out of this world. Alma makes sure to put Tom in his place… that he is NOT a human and ought not be treated as such. Tom is patient and tolerant of Alma’s condescension, but remains undeterred in winning her over. In a way it’s not totally dissimilar to a tug-and-pull relationship of real couples when one is more interested than the other. 

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Directed by Maria Schrader, the tone is mostly pretty light though she doesn’t shy away from exploring deep, emotional pathos such as loss and crumbling disappointments. I’ve never seen any of her work, but she’s directed the first season of Netflix’s UNORTHODOX. Schrader also co-wrote the script with Jan Schomburg, though the story itself is based on a short story by Emma Braslavsky. 

The sharp screenplay offers a perfect blend of comedy and heartfelt human drama. There’s a hint throughout of Alma’s previous relationship with his colleague Julian (Hans Löw) and we find out later in the second act of a certain loss Alma encounters that contributes to her rather bleak view of romance. It’s a poignant moment that elevates the film far beyond the run-of-the-mill, superficial rom-coms.

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I love that the script never descends into slapstic comedy with Tom’s droid antics. There is a moment where he rescues someone during a party that would make some guests suspicious as to whether he possesses certain super-heroic ability, but it’s all organic to the story.

This is the first time I saw Maria Eggert and she’s perfectly cast here and I sympathize with her character right away. She’s definitely a smart, strong, independent woman, but there’s a certain vulnerability that makes her feel real. In his first foreign film, Dan Stevens proves once again he’s a terrific, versatile actor who shines in everything he’s in.

As the internet speak would say, he always understood his assignment. He was truly the MVP of the Eurovision movie as a closeted-gay Russian singer… and now he’s portrayed one of the best, most delightful movie robots ever! I really hope he continues to spice things up in his career with intriguing roles. Shout out to Sandra Hüller as well who’s memorable in few hilarious scenes, one of them is quite a surprising twist that made me go ‘whoa!’

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Now, I do have a quibble about the rather rushed ending. After a relationship breakthrough [I won’t spoil what that is], Alma somehow got cold feet and decides she’s done with the whole experiment. I was really curious how Schrader would end the story, but let’s just say it feels a bit rushed for me and somewhat anti-climactic. 

Still, the good far outweighs this slightly underwhelming ending. This is definitely my favorite film about human + AI love story since Spike Jonze’s HER which was far more emotional and heart-wrenching. I’m Your Man is the official German’s submission for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category of 2022 Oscars. Now, I think it’s pretty rare for a romantic comedy to win Oscars, I think last time it happened was Annie Hall in 1977 (Oscar experts, feel free to correct me).

In any case, I highly recommend this one… a lovely gem of a scifi rom-com that’s witty, fascinating and delightfully entertaining. I sure hope to see more of Schrader’s work in the future.

3.5/5 Reels


Have you seen I’M YOUR MAN? What do you think? 

FlixChatter Review: HOUSE OF GUCCI (2021)

House of Gucci is scandalous family feud set in the world of haute couture… a sensational story ripe for a cinematic adaptation. Apparently Ridley Scott has been wanting to film this since the book of the same name by Sara Gay Forden was released in 2000, which centers on the brutal murder of the heir of the Gucci fortune, Maurizio Gucci, by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani. 

The film opens with a shot of Maurizio (Adam Driver), the heir of the Gucci fortune, looking dapper in a gray wool suit and oversized Aviators sitting at a Roman cafe. He rides a bicycle on cobblestone streets to his office and about to climb up the steps … well, the story then rewinds back as to the pivotal moment where it all began. You could say Maurizio and Patrizia’s romance began with a ‘meet cute’ at a costume party … I really think it wasn’t so much Maurizio’s looks that attracted her, but her eyes lights up when he said his name… ‘it was a name that sounded so sweet…’ indeed, Gucci is synonymous with wealth, style and power. The whirlwind romance doesn’t begin immediately, but after a bit of stalking, even down to the library where Maurizio was doing his research for his law degree, he finally falls for her… hook line and sinker.

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The first act establishes the two contrasting backgrounds of the two doomed lovers. Though not exactly poor (her stepfather actually owns a pretty successful trucking business), Patrizia always dreams of living the high life. Maurizio on the other hand, who’s been a Gucci all his life, seems unfazed by it all and was set on becoming a lawyer. In fact, he’s content with working at Patrizia’s trucking company when his snobbish, former silent-actor father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) cuts him out of the family for wanting to marry someone he deems unworthy and a gold digger. There’s a scene in the car with Patrizia where Maurizio scoffs at his dad for living in the past and that his grandpa Guccio Gucci who first started the company in Florence, started out as a bellhop London’s Savoy Hotel.

It’s Maurizio’s uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) who actually courts Maurizio into the family business, preferring his favorite nephew over his ‘idiot’ son Paolo (Jared Leto) who just never measures up to his father’s standards. The two brothers own half of the Gucci shares each but they clearly have differing visions for the company. In one of the meet ups, Rodolfo insists on quality-over-quantity and adamantly refuses the lucrative globalization approach Aldo is keen on. ‘No malls’ Rodolfo says to Aldo who really just wants to milk the business for all its worth.

Scott captures the lavish lifestyle and glamour of the ultra rich family… the set pieces, clothes, etc. were meticulously designed and they’re fun to watch. At one point, Aldo throws a lavish party on the patio of his 16th Century historical palazzo overlooking Lake Como. It’s enough to get one intoxicated by the glam, glitzy, decadent life of the ultra rich… Patrizia is practically tipsy over being a part of the Gucci family.

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The first act starts out quite well-paced, with a good sense of intrigue and fun. There’s even hilarious moments such as the loud wham-bam, jack-hammer style sex scene in a cramped office… the full-on campiness is quite amusing as it transitions to an elegant wedding in a church set to George Michael’s FAITH. I don’t mind the anachronism style, though those songs got me somewhat nostalgic and took me out of the movie a bit.

The fairy-tale life of being a Gucci queen seems to be within reach for Patrizia, especially after Maurizio inherits his father’s fortune following his death. I think the film would’ve been more effective if it knows just exactly which Gucci tale it wants to tell. Screenwriters Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna starts out as focusing on the Maurizio/Patricia romance and their rise to power, which eventually tears them apart. As the film progresses, it concerns itself too much with the business side of the fashion label.

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It loses its narrative focus about midway through, thanks to its kitchen-sink storytelling approach, trying to cram as many intersecting storylines from how the cheap fake products are devaluing the Gucci brand to Paolo’s grand ambition to start his own label. The film glaringly forgets about Patrizia early in the third act during its repeated narrative detours, as it was too preoccupied with the battle between father-vs-son-vs-cousin subplot in the race to lead the company. ‘It’s time to take out the trash…’ Patrizia says at one point. If only that’d be applied to the film itself, which could use a much tighter editing scissor to trim its fat.

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The performances did keep me engaged though it’s pretty uneven. Even from its trailer, you know it’s Lady Gaga‘s movie. She totally owns it with her undeniable screen presence, there’s a gleam of madness in her eyes right from the moment she meets Maurizio and wants him all to herself. It helps that her character has the strongest arc in the film… she’s a driven woman who knows exactly what she wants and her narcissistic & overbearing personality clearly drives her husband away.

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Adam Driver is mesmerizing as Maurizio, displaying a disquieting restlessness in a subtle yet effective performance. Despite Maurizio being underwritten, Driver manages to elevate the character and makes him more than one-dimensional. Plus he looks like a bazillion dollars in those sharp suits and the way he carries himself. There’s a hint of ruthless ambition seething underneath his calm demeanor, but there’s almost no transition from the mild-mannered, passive guy to a callous, spendthrift, power-hungry douchebag. Even the romance between him and his mistress Paola Franchi (Camille Cottin) has zero sparks and seems inconsequential despite its actual impact in the real story. Having seen how fiery Cottin is in the Call My Agent! series, this role is such a waste of her talents.

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I was hoping for something indelible when Patrizia, in a blood-red ski outfit, sits down next to Paola and delivers threatening lines like ‘I subscribe to unconventional punishment.’ Disappointingly, the whole thing goes down in an unremarkable way. Same with the ‘Father, Son and House of Gucci’ scene when Paolo asks Patrizia if she can keep a secret… it looks so deliriously juicy in the trailer, but it doesn’t have the same impact in the film.

Speaking of which, Jared Leto in a fat suit and prosthetic makeup is too busy chewing the scenery to portray someone resembling a real person. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s done a good job here portraying the much-maligned Paolo who never gets to spread his creative wings. I just think he veers way over the top in his boorish performance that the character becomes a complete caricature. I suppose Leto often goes well above and beyond the call of duty whenever he portrays a real person, though I wonder if he does it for the attention more so than a dedication to his craft.

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Interestingly enough, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino seem to have similar approaches as the actors playing their respective sons… Irons is all sinister sneering with simmering rage like Driver, while Pacino hams it up with exaggerated hand gestures that reminds me a bit of his performance in Scent Of A Woman. Salma Hayek looks like she’s having more fun here than in Eternals in a small role as a a high-society psychic who becomes close friends with Patrizia. It’s quite ironic to see her as the least wealthy character given that Hayek’s husband actually owns the Gucci brand now.

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As for the accents–everyone adopts a quasi Italian accent to varying degrees. I guess it’s to be expected as Scott never really concerns himself with getting the accents right for his characters. I mean, Russell Crowe’s Maximus is supposed to be a Spaniard in Gladiator but he speaks with more of a British accent, same with all the characters in The Last Duel who’re all supposed to be French.

In terms of direction, I have to admit that House of Gucci doesn’t feel like a Ridley Scott movie compared to his last film released this year, The Last of Duel. I’ve mentioned the script’s lack of focus, which leads to scenes feeling disjointed as some scenes get cut short as another 90s song starts again. Despite the fabulous European locations, the cinematography by Dariusz Wolski isn’t all that remarkable… I can’t even name a single one perfect shot from this movie. Neither is the music by Harry Gregson-Williams, all I remember are the 90s songs, I bet much of the large budget goes towards song licensing.

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The style MVP is definitely costume designer Janty Yates in creating the 90s looks befitting of the fashion-centric movie. I enjoy seeing the various suits and outfits worn by the cast, especially Driver who undergoes quite a style transformation from the dweeby sweaters in his college years to the sharp bespoke suits as Maurizio gains more power and drowns in debt.

It’s a testament to this outlandish tale that I still find the movie quite immersive despite its flaws. I was absorbed in the wild, crazy ride throughout its 2 hours 37 min running time. It actually took me a few days to ‘recover’ from this story, as I watched all kinds of YouTube videos about the Gucci family following the film. It is so tragic that the once-unrivaled fashion empire that’s been created three quarter of a century ago ends up being destroyed by its own family rivalry. Truth really is stranger than fiction!

Given how sensational this story is, you’d think the film would’ve been more impactful and indelible. If it were a meticulously-tailored bespoke suit, House of Gucci seems to have all the right material to put it together. Alas, the execution (no pun intended) doesn’t quite measure up.

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Have you seen HOUSE OF GUCCI? Well, what did YOU think?