You may not be aware, but Lady Gaga is an 'Italian Girl from New York', and she rarely mentions this. 2021 has been a fantastic year for we Italians - Pixar gave us feelings in 'Luca', 'The Sopranos' returned with 'The Many Saints of Newark', but there some still something missing on this pizza... Gaga unleashing her full Italian girl - and that's exactly what we get in 'House of Gucci'.
Gucci is a family brand, but after Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga, 'A Star Is Born') married Rodolfo Gucci's (Jeremy Irons, 'Justice League', 'Red Sparrow') only son, Maurizio (Adam Driver, 'Annette', 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'), dynamics begin to shift. Patrizia, who comes from some mild wealth, starts to become seduced by the power Gucci holds. After Rodolfo's death, Maurizio gets a 50% stake in the company, and Patrizia and himself start to remove other family members - most key Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino, 'The Irishman', 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood') and his son Paolo (Jared Leto, 'Blade Runner 2049', 'The Little Things').
'House of Gucci' has all the elements of a great drama, but it never gets off the ground. At 84 years old, director Ridley Scott ('The Last Duel', 'All the Money in the World') is just simply the wrong person to direct the story of a family in the fashion world. The film has so many tonal problems; any fashion film, especially with Lady Gaga in the lead, should automatically have a level of camp present, but this film never gives any. Iconic trailer lines like "Father, son and House of Gucci" and "I don't consider myself a particularly ethical person, but I am fair" are really downplayed in the film, and with the run time clocking in at 2 hours at 45 minutes, it's extremely hard to find much to latch onto.
The performances are also such a mixed bag, with not one person giving a good Italian accent. Gaga is doing her best but some inflections aren't the best, while Jeremy Irons gives up trying one and Jared Leto is straight up in a different film altogether. He and Pacino are on another level, and they seem to think this is a full-out comedy. Driver plays it right down the middle, lifting up the film thanks to his chemistry with Gaga; the two are quite engrossing.
'House of Gucci' has all the elements of a great drama, but it never gets off the ground. At 84 years old, director Ridley Scott is just simply the wrong person to direct the story of a family in the fashion world.
For a film title like 'House of Gucci', there seems to be a lack of interest in the Gucci brand. While the film does look quite rich and glamorous - the costumes are easily going to take home an Oscar - the film really shies away from going full-out fashionable. The wigs, however, are all over the place. Gaga looks like her male alter ego Jo Calderone at times; every scene she has a new wig, and they all have their own journey.
Being as long as it is, the film inevitably loses it way partway through. We know the ending and the film just feels like it dances around it; we spend so much time with each of these characters that amount to so little, and there are large chunks of the film that are missing Gaga, who is easily the best actor is the film - but that means you feel so drained whenever a scene doesn't include her. The story never feels like a deep dive into the Gucci family empire, with the script barely mentioning the fashion the company is known for.
Some of the soundtrack choices are so unbalanced. The one that really took me out was during Patrizia and Maurizio's wedding, which takes place in 1972. George Michael's 'Faith' plays... which was released in 1987. Not only over 10 years later, but it also just doesn't match the scene whatsoever.
'House of Gucci' never builds to its star-studded glamorous promise, and instead feels like a weighed-down drama. Gaga shines, but the rest of the cast just is having a competition as to who can do the worst Italian accent. Scott seems out of touch with the material here, and while the film is technically flawless, its run time makes the watch incredibly taxing.