House of Gucci has the best sex scene from a big Hollywood movie in years
Remember when movies could actually be sexy?
Almost exactly 30 years ago, director Ridley Scott steamed up cinema screens all around the world when he paired up an on-the-run Geena Davis and then-mostly-unknown Brad Pitt for their love scene in Thelma & Louise.
Over the course of the rest of his career, Scott would manage to successfully ruin sex for viewers, be it on purpose – Alien is basically one big monster penis and/or vagina metaphor / Joaquin Phoenix's icky relationship with his sister in Gladiator – or by accident – Cameron Diaz shagging a car in The Counsellor / the weird swerve his adaptation of Hannibal took from the source material.
But with House of Gucci, not only has the 83-year-old director managed to make sex sexy again in his own films, it is tough to think of a Proper Big Hollywood Movie which featured an actual, honest-to-God sex scene in it that didn't pan to a fluttering curtain once the humping got a bit too risqué.
Some movies have tried and failed (Fifty Shades Trilogy, we're looking at you) to bring sexy back, and while there have been plenty of "indie" releases with scenes of a sexual nature, Hollywood seems to have decided to sex is somewhat taboo again.
Its a shame, because it is a pump of vitality within the first hour of House of Gucci where the movie truly soars, as all of the characters within the true-life murder plot against the most lavishly beautiful backdrops imaginable are dropped into place.
Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons, who we interviewed below) doesn't want his son Maurizio (Adam Driver) to marry Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), believing her to be a gold-digger.
So the two abscond, and it is during this time together that Gaga and Driver share Hollywood's hottest sex scene in quite some time, right at the peak of when the movie is at its most entertaining. But it isn't long before Patrizia gets a taste of the Gucci lifestyle through Maurizio's uncle Aldo (Al Pacino), and an unquenchable thirst for power and money takes hold.
It is, in essence, one part Lady Macbeth (Patrizia constantly in Maurizio's ear about fighting for more control of the Gucci empire) and one part The Godfather (the Gucci family treats betrayal and disappointment in similar ways to the Corleone family, albeit with less murdering involved).
However, once the chess board has been fully laid out, Scott takes an eternity to get to the point of the movie, filling in needless gaps with useless cousins (Jared Leto) and untrustworthy psychics (Salma Hayek).
Is it cool to see that Gucci took a punt on a then-unknown designer for their new line-up, and it turns out to be Tom Ford (Reeve Carney)? Yes, absolutely.
Should that have maybe been its very own movie, and not a footnote for this Gucci murder story? Also yes, absolutely.
After that fun, campy first hour, the rest of the two-and-a-half-hour-plus House of Gucci devolves into a bit of a convoluted mess of too many characters, too many unimportant plot threads, just too much... and not in a good way.
It will likely still get Gaga an Oscar nomination - and probably Pacino too, as he's better here than he's been in a LONG time - and the usual attention for production design and costume and make-up and all the stuff you'd expect from a typically beautiful Ridley Scott movie.
And, if nothing else, he's also reminded Hollywood that it is okay to have, y'know, a proper sex scene in your movie, when the occasion calls for it.
House of Gucci arrives in Irish cinemas on Friday, 26 November.
Clip via Universal Ireland