To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, House of Gucci is a semi-biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. The film stars Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino. Set between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, the story follows Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci as their relationship transforms from a blossoming romance to a bitter divorce all while fighting for control of the family’s luxury fashion company.
Ridley Scott is a phenomenal director. Even in his old age, he is still putting out great films. Earlier this year he released The Last Duel which is undoubtedly one of the best films of 2021. House of Gucci was poised to follow in its footsteps as another victory for Scott. The trailers were intriguing, giving off Scorsese vibes, and I was eager to see the story of the murder of Maurizio Gucci as I knew nothing of it. Unfortunately, this film did not live up to expectations. House of Gucci is quite an uneven mess. The film is very long and the pacing is imbalanced. Some scenes hit and deliver without dragging on while others linger without pushing the story forward or rush through story beats too quickly. It feels like Ridley Scott didn’t quite know what movie he wanted. The crime aspect of the story felt tacked on at the end. The story could’ve been handled better leading with Maurizio’s murder and trial and showing the marriage and family issues via flashbacks. Ridley Scott should’ve focused on either the love story between the Gucci’s or the couple taking over the company. That is something that we did not need to see both sides of.
The relationship between Adam Driver and Lady Gaga works well in the beginning but the destruction of their marriage is almost instantaneous and doesn’t truly allow for the viewer to see Maurizio fall out of love with Patrizia. There are instances where Patrizia does things that Maurizio does not care for but he goes along with her plans anyway because he loves her and to a certain degree believes she is right. While all of the acting is top-notch sometimes it feels like they’re all supposed to be in different films. Even though most characters in the film are relatives, their Italian accents are completely different. It would have been better if they all sounded similar. This is especially the case with Jared Leto as his voice sounds like a parody of Mario. Also, it’s understandable that some liberties are taken when adapting real-life people and events but in certain cases, it isn’t necessary. For instance, Maurizio and Patrizia’s second daughter is missing and I don’t see why you wouldn’t include both with how little they appear in the story anyway.
I have to give Ridley Scott props because for me House of Gucci is a modern adaptation of Frankenstein with Patrizia fulfilling the role of Victor Frankenstein and Maurizio as Frankenstein’s Monster. And the reason that is because Maurizio never wanted to have anything to do with his family’s business. It was only after he met Patrizia that he began interacting more with the business side of his family. He just wanted to go to school and become a lawyer. Even when his father threatened him with taking away his money and cutting him from his will for marrying a mobster’s daughter, he was fine with that. There is a great scene where Maurizio mentions that when he was working with Patrizia’s father cleaning trucks it was the happiest time of his life.
Another thing Ridley Scott got right about the House of Gucci is the casting. I would say that every actor in the film turns in a great performance. Each embodies their character well and despite none of them being Italian, save for our Pacino and Lady Gaga, I believe they handle their accents well. Adam Driver is very good. This man is a phenomenal actor and does a great job when working with Ridley Scott. I hope they work together on future better films. Lady Gaga has become a phenomenal actor. Not many musicians can transition into film as well as she has done in such a short period of time. From films like A Star is Born to television series such as American Horror Story, Lady Gaga has proven that she has the chops to keep up with the best of them while also maintaining a wonderful singing voice.
Al Pacino is the break-out star of the film and I loved every second of him on screen. Portraying Aldo Gucci as a loving yet distant father to Paolo was realistic. Everything Aldo said made sense and you feel for him when his company is taken away from him. Speaking of Paolo, while I do believe that Jared Leto is a wonderful character actor and when he is truly given a great script to work with he is unbelievable, he is the weakest part of this film. That’s not to say that his performance isn’t good but it feels like it belongs in a different film. He is very comical and House of Gucci isn’t particularly funny.
The sound mixing was fine but the needle drops from the trailer or more memorable than the ones in the actual movie. On the other hand, the costume design is fantastic. The set design is fantastic. The cinematography is fantastic. All these great things are present in this film and you can tell that there is care and attention put into every scene and that everything that was crafted for this film was designed to show off this family. It should get some love come award season in these categories but unfortunately, the rest of the film wasn’t as neat as this.
It sucks when you get a great director, great actors, great performances, etc., and they don’t come together to make a great film. I give House of Gucci a Solid 6/10. If you wish to know more about the rise and fall of the Gucci family and how they essentially lost ownership of their company, I recommend watching this film otherwise it is not necessary viewing.