Even Lady Gaga and Jared Leto Can't Save 'House of Gucci' Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Lady Gaga, Jared Leto, Adam Driver, Al Pacino
Published Nov 26, 2021For all the camp and hype House of Gucci promises, even Lady Gaga's powerhouse performance can't save this film. There's a lot to unpack in the two hours and 37 minutes, but despite the glitz and glamour, the only true highlight is Jared Leto in his spectacular disguise as the supremely silly Paulo Gucci.
The film is based on the true story of how the Gucci family lost control of the company that still bears its name. Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) is an aspiring lawyer who has no interest in following in his father's footsteps. When Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), who comes from a working-class family, runs into Maurizio at a party, her eyes light up at the mention of his last name. Maurizio soon falls head over heels for Patrizia, but his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) sees right through her gold-digging façade. Despite that, Maurizio leaves home and marries her. Later, it is Patrizia who forces him to take control of the family business after the death of his father.
But what would this film be without its fair share of family drama? We are introduced to Rodolfo's brother Aldo (Al Pacino) and his ridiculous son Paolo, who is laughed at due to his wild fashion ideas that don't fit the Gucci brand. Aldo instead chooses to endorse Maurizio and Patrizia, and welcomes them into the family business.
House of Gucci unravels over decades, and while this film depicts how Maurizio Gucci was murdered on the steps of his office in Milan on March 27, 1995, the film is ultimately about Patricia. With a run time of almost three hours, House of Gucci feels muddled and messy, dragging on with unnecessary plotlines that make us wonder where the film is ready headed; towards the end, viewers will simply give up.
Al Pacino gives his best shot at playing Uncle Aldo, while Driver barely leaves an impression as the reserved Gucci scion, being overshadowed by his co-stars who are all biting into their meatier (and greedier) roles.
Given the over-the-top – and what becomes the most entertaining – role is that of Paulo's. Lines like "Does an elephant a-sheeeet in the jungle?" or "I will finally soar, like a pigeon!" — delivered in a hilariously bad Italian accent — got the audience laughing out loud. In a story that gets draining with drama, it's Leto who brings in some comedic relief in an otherwise dud of a film. He is unrecognizable in his latex-laden face and disappears into the ridiculousness of Paulo.
Lady Gaga packs a punch as the narrow-eyed, scheming outsider who claws her way into the Gucci empire, and makes the decisions for her spineless husband. The film is an acting showcase for her, as she scorns with style and wit. However, even she isn't able to soar, given the poor script. Director Ridley Scott knew he had good material of a family feud, a gigantic fashion empire, betrayal, and murder, but he simply lost sight of the thread that could have weaved the story better. (Universal)