Ridley Scott is best known for his science fiction (Alien, Blade Runner) and war epics (Gladiator, Kingdom Of Heaven), but he has done several outliers. House Of Gucci is one of them.
Is this really the Game Of Thrones or The Godfather of fashion? Well, not quite, but it’s not a bad movie either.
House Of Gucci is best when you go into the movie with little to no prior knowledge. It’s a compelling story of the family politics within a business dynasty, similar to that of other movies like 1987’s Wall Street. There’s a lot of family melodrama with backstabbing, betrayal, greed, and murder. However, the movie is a bit imbalanced in tone, as most of the first act of the movie is focused on introducing Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) in an almost rom-com sort of way. If you only watched the first hour or so of the movie, you’d think that the movie is a romantic one.
After they eventually get married, that’s when they get swept up in the squabbles of the Gucci family, including Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons), Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino), and Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto). Along the way, this sweet couple gets gradually changed for the worse from the corruption brought by the influence of money and power. Unfortunately, that change can feel a bit abrupt. Despite being more than 2 hours and 30 minutes long, the movie tends to linger on side characters and inconsequential parts for too long, so the characters’ development can still feel somewhat undeveloped.
The pacing isn’t too slow or too draggy, but the escalation of some of the characters’ actions can be unnatural and a bit unbelievable. Like I previously mentioned, it’s best to go into House Of Gucci with little to no knowledge of what happens (despite the movie being based on true events), so you can enjoy witnessing and learning how exactly the Gucci family fell apart. The movie ultimately switches between campy and serious all the time, so it’s a bit of clash of colours, to put it in fashion terms.
The best performances in House Of Gucci can probably be attributed to Al Pacino, Adam Driver and Lady Gaga. Al Pacino is an experienced and legendary actor, and it shows. He knows when to ham it up. The same can’t be said for Jared Leto, who is comical that he looks like he wandered in from another movie set entirely. Sure, Jared Leto manages to once again delve into another role that makes him unrecognisable, but he tends to overact and becomes a distraction.
Adam Driver pulls off a calm and stoic performance, while Lady Gaga is unsurprisingly a highlight of the movie as well. She’s been one to look out for since A Star Is Born, and this is no exception. The same criticism can be applied to everyone in the movie though when it comes to their accents. While they’re not as bad as some critics would otherwise claim, they still sound inauthentic and forced, especially in regards to Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons. I’d reckon it would be doubly painful and cringe-worthy for native Italian speakers. Why couldn’t Ridley Scott hire real Italian actors and actresses? Well, he didn’t hire French ones either for his other 2021 movie, The Last Duel, but at least that movie didn’t have faux French accents.
Game Of Gucci
If you like family drama and the machinations of the fall of a modern rich dynasty, House Of Gucci is an entertaining 2 and a half or so hours. However, it falls short of being truly good, due to Ridley Scott falling prey to his worst tendencies and not making a tighter movie in terms of tone and balance.
Final Score: 60/100
We attended an early screener of House Of Gucci courtesy of UIP Malaysia. House Of Gucci is slated to premiere on 13 January 2022.