The Stream: Actors playing Italian accent roulette.
The Big Screen: Gaga and Gaga costumes set a high standard.
The Final Bill: Not good enough to be great and not bad enough to be fun.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna (screenplay by); Becky Johnston (story by); Sara Gay Forden (based on the book by)
Stars: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, and Jeremy Irons
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual content, and brief nudity and violence.
Runtime: 2 hours 31 minutes
Platform: Only in theaters
Trailers: Parallel Mothers, Moonfall, The Matrix Resurrections, Scream, Marry Me, Cyrano, Licorice Pizza
(Read with an Italian accent)
Ciao, Streamers! It’s been a very busy time of the year with the holidays and a new cinema coming from all over the place. One of the most anticipated of the season is Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci starring Lady Gaga, which opened on Thanksgiving. Let’s get transported to Milan and see how this stylish true crime drama turned out.
Based on true events, House of Gucci tells the story of how the Gucci family lost its grip on its fashion empire by succumbing to greed, betrayal and infighting instigated by the introduction of Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) into the family. Patrizia meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), who is the son of and an heir to the Gucci business, and she falls in love with him after hearing the name “Gucci”. Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons) does not trust Patrizia and has a falling out with Maurizio because he thinks that Patrizia essentially is a gold digger. Patrizia eventually ingratiates herself with the Gucci family by charming Maurizio’s uncle, Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) and cousin, Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto), but her ambition and entitlement leads to some epic downfalls and even criminal consequences to the family and herself. Melodrama ensues.
The promotion for House of Gucci sells a different movie than you get. It seemed like the movie was a true crime romp like something salacious and intriguing; but, although it has its moments of fun, it is too rote and boring to add up to the romp that it was promoted to be. There are a lot of business machinations that are the focus whereas the true crime aspect is the more interesting part of the story. While the betrayal in the business leads to the murder, the motivation to get to the murder is what seems to be where the drama and attention should be placed. Additionally, the movie is too long for the plot to be as imbalanced as it is.
Now, Lady Gaga does a great job and she dominates the movie, especially the first half. She has a decent Italian accent, and she gives her character a lot of flare. Although Patrizia is essentially the villain in the story, you have to root for her because Gaga makes her almost sympathetic. There are great costumes and nods to the 80’s fashion era. House of Gucci is about Gucci, and so style should be front in center. The movie is pretty successful in that way. I have to mention Jared Leto’s portrayal of Paolo Gucci. Paolo is a sympathetic character, too. Leto is under pounds of makeup that make him completely unrecognizable, and he has a ridiculous Italian accent that borders on caricature; but it works nonetheless. Leto is so fun in this role that you miss him when he’s not on screen.
For me, the rest of the story is just blah and boring or over the top and ridiculous. Ridley Scott did not get a consistent tone, consistent accent or really find an interesting focus for this story. At 2 and a half hours long, it feels like the movie drags out what could have been both shorter and more impactful flick. Pretty disappointing.
Ultimately, House of Gucci fails to justify its long runtime. While Lady Gaga and Jared Leto have good performances and the costumes are eye-catching, the rest of the story is not told in an interesting way, is inconsistent and unfocused. Just get a handful of popcorn for this one.