Freeze Frame: “House of Gucci” (R), “Encanto” (PG)

Infidelity, scandal, intrigue, murder. These are the topics of many a soap opera. They also emerge in the true story “House of Gucci,” currently available in theaters only. Lady Gaga gives a wily performance as the ambitious and cunning wife of fashion house heir Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. Director Ridley Scott has put together an all-star cast that also includes Al Pacino, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Salma Hayek to tell this story of the unscrupulous behavior by members of the famous family. Sometimes the dialogue and performances…especially by Leto…seem awfully campy, and Driver’s character and his actions are very murky. Plus, the film never establishes a consistent tone. “The House of Gucci” is certainly entertaining but is never quite as gripping as it should have been.


“Encanto” is the latest animated fantasy from the folks at Disney and it’s also currently available in theaters only. “Encanto” lives up to its name. It’s a charming musical extravaganza that takes place in the mountains of Columbia, focusing on the enchanted Madrigal family that lives in a magical casita. Each family member imbued with a special supernatural gift. All members, that is, except for one. Young Mirabel Madrigal struggles to understand why she is the one who has been left out. Unlike most Disney fairytales, “Encanto” has no villains, but the characters are still faced with considerable personal obstacles to overcome. The animation is stunning, and the soundtrack is full of catchy tunes written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Encanto” is a Thanksgiving weekend gift that all members of the family can be thankful for.

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