Movie Diary 12/5/2021

House of Gucci (Ridley Scott, 2021). Big and broad and silly, as advertised. Lady Gaga is absolutely in the spirit of that, a canny and amusing performance; by comparison, Adam Driver seems like he should be having more fun in this kind of thing (see below). It all pops along and yet leaves a rather sour aftertaste, which is understandable given the perpetual air of resentment that wafts through Scott’s films.

Annette (Leos Carax, 2021). I’m a Carax fan and I wish I liked this more, although the songs are often helpful. Not sure the blend of Sparks and Carax is all that simpatico, given the archness of the former and the ferocious sincerity of the latter. About Adam Driver, though: You have to admire the commitment of the performance, and the fearlessness to appear this unlikable, but what I miss is an actor’s joy in playing such a role. Driver seems focused on the grim task at hand, rather than any kind of Richard III-like relish in creating this kind of jerk.