HOUSE OF GUCCI (2021)
Lady Gaga once again delivers as Al Pacino quarterbacks an uneven House of Gucci, a fascinating familial drama that never realizes its own potential greatness, instead suffering from inconsistent tone and a frustratingly ridiculous portrayal by Jared Leto.
Inspired by the true story of the Gucci family woes, House of Gucci follows Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) from marrying into the family to the chaotic fall of her marriage to Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), leading to heartbreak and murder. Ridley Scott delivers a fine movie here, but it certainly is one of the his most jumbled in recent memory. On the positive side, Lady Gaga is captivating and emotionally charged from her very first scenes, her maturity as an actress evident and her chemistry with the solid Adam Driver a true asset to the film. Al Pacino, playing company cofounder Aldo Gucci, is the strong through-line of the entire project, a powerful force in every scene, making his costars that much better. For the first two-thirds of House of Gucci, Scott crafts an epic drama that weaves tantalizing details of love, business, and ultimately betrayal. Then it slips and falls.
Once the the power dynamic begins to shifts from Gaga’s Patrizia, House of Gucci becomes much less interesting, dramatically slowing in pace and shifting in tone. It’s also around this time that we begin to see more of Leto’s Paolo Gucci. Let’s be clear: Leto’s performance is not an Oscar-worthy display, rather a farcical depiction of a family outsider delivered through a fat suit, complete with over-the-top verbalizations and a reliance on goofy physical movements. While the accents used throughout are at times questionable, the valiant effort is obvious; Leto’s entire existence in this film is disrespectful and without care. Ultimately, House of Gucci choppily concludes with an almost satirical turn, the earlier expected camp, which was surprisingly and welcomingly absent, suddenly fully present. It’s a good film, it just loses itself along the way.
House of Gucci hits theaters this Wednesday.
Photo from Variety