Directed by Ridley Scott
Stars- Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, and Jack Huston
Everything that I loved about Sir Ridley Scott’s other film this year, The Last Duel, gets forgotten about in House of Gucci. A film so boring and uninteresting that it throws away any interest the viewer may have in the Italian family that created a fashion empire. Despite the fact that Ridley Scott is one of the most talented men behind a camera that we’ve ever seen creating countless cinematic adventures that millions of people resonate with, and despite the fact that Gaga, Driver, Hayek, and Irons are all extremely gifted actors that have crafted successful filmographies for themselves. Despite all of that, House of Gucci fails on every single asset and never seems to be worth its near 160 minute runtime.
The true story of how Patrizia Reggiani plotted to kill her husband Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of renowned fashion designer Guccio Gucci
Right from the jump one knew that this film was gonna be a disaster. It’s colour palette similar to Scott’s earlier film this year, which works for a medieval times story, not for a film that’s supposed to be about the glitz and glamour of the Gucci family. Not once did this film play into its high fashion, and Italian set piece- its drab and dreary creative decisions making one quickly forget that this family lives in luxury. A film that could’ve been so technically strong, it all unravels so quickly like a thread in a cheap counterfeit Gucci purse.
This is followed up with one of the longest hours of a first act of the year, where they build up the meeting and soon to be romance between Patrizia and Maurizio, after all its their love that will set the story ablaze, the issue of building that up for an hour is that neither of the characters is interesting at all- and by the time the set up is complete, I was already reaching for my wrist to triple check that it was really only an hour that had gone by. By this point the film needs to get to the murder plotting, quick after all it had just spent its first hour on an uninteresting love affair. The way Scott gets there is by cutting corners both in the script, and in the editing. We jump from scene to scene, emotion to emotion never truly getting ever bask in whatever was happening in front of us. We’d go from a family business drama, to Jared Leto’s terrible misplaced attempts of comedy, to a romantic drama- all within minutes of each other, with zero time to breath. By the time we finally get to the plotting and then the actual murder attempt so much is rushed that the viewer doesn’t care about the characters they’re watching, nor do we understand how Patrizia and the men she hired get caught for the murder-for-hire.
The actors they have is a talented bunch, but none of them work the way that you want them too. Gaga overperforms and makes the Patrizia character a walking cartoon of a real person, rather than encompassing the true nature of the real person. Never does she disappear into the role as Patrizia Reggiani, shes always just Lady Gaga playing up parts of the real life persons character. Driver seemed uninterested for 99% of the film, and it’s only within the last half hour that he finally seems to understand what he needs to be doing as the now in charge Gucci member. While Jared Leto feels very much like James Corden in Cats, in the sense that he had no idea what movie he was in. Everything he says, every line he utters- it’s all comedic nonsense, and never does he ever feel like he’s actually a part of this world. He came to make a comedic spoof of the people, not an actual film about real life people with a real life murder that happened. None of them have a slither of an actual Italian accent, and none of them hold onto it long enough to keep the character going- rather they go in and out of their attempted accents so poorly, taking the viewer far too out of the film each time.
In the end, Scott tried his hand at the story of a glamorous empire‘s rise and fall- but without the glitz and glam, or the actors that could do the heavy lifting, The House of Gucci becomes a standard biopic that follows the most formulaic plot points in the most boring and uninteresting way it possibly could.