November 17, 2021
Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci stars Lady Gaga in a tale of fashion and murder. But is true crime – once the soul of cinema, from thrillers and horrors to westerns – now outgrowing the big screen?
Gaga, Gucci and prison ferrets: how true crime conquered the world
What took you so long, House of Gucci? This story was destined to become a movie from the moment the bullet left fashion heir Maurizio Gucci dead outside his Milan office in March 1995 – shot, a witness said, by a hitman with a “beautiful, clean hand”. The film by Ridley Scott now finally arrives dripping with star power, and Lady Gaga as Gucci’s ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani. But the story alone was enough: a glittering tickbox of money, revenge and a villainess kept company in jail by an illicit pet ferret called Bambi.
True crime gold. So why, now that the film is actually here, does the Gucci case feel a strange fit for a movie after all? Put it down to timing. The film’s development began in entertainment prehistory: 2006. Back then, a lavish movie was still the grand prize for any news story, and true crime – that trashbag genre – would simply be glad of the association. Now though, film and true crime have the air of an estranged couple. Had Maurizio Gucci been gunned down on Via Palestro last week, Netflix would already have the rights and the podcast would be on Spotify.
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