‘House of Gucci’ Review: Murder, Italian-Style

With Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, and Jared Leto all on board for Ridley Scott’s tale of betrayal and betrayal, the prosciutto plate is piled high.

‘House of Gucci’ Review

Throughout his lengthy and varied career, Ridley Scott has had much more hits than misses, with films like “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma and Louise,” and “The Martian” becoming cult classics. The movies that haven’t been successful are few and far between, but even the duds (like G.I. Jane and The Counselor) are nonetheless enjoyable.

‘House of Gucci’ Review: Murder, Italian-Style

And now, a word on the Gucci fashion house. Backstabbing, in-house fighting, and murder are all interwoven throughout the Gucci family’s background, so it was exciting to hear that a movie would be made on the illustrious fashion house. Theoretically, this was supposed to be as gripping as your favourite daytime drama on television.

Unfortunately, this isn’t excellent. While the film boasts an impressive ensemble (Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, and Jeremy Irons among them), it fails to fully exploit their talents because of a narrative that skims the surface of the Gucci family’s history.

A Sensational Story of Murder

With a title like “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed,” the book on which this film was based sounds like it would have all the shocking and scandalous elements one would desire in a story about the wealthy and famous. The movie version is boring, unfortunately.

Assuming you know anything at all about the Gucci family’s history, the film will cover most of the ground you’d expect it to, but it will do so with startling brevity when it comes to the more shady aspects of the dynasty.

Running Period

With a running period of 2 hours and 38 minutes, Scott clearly had ample opportunity to explore the deep vein of sibling rivalry, anger, and homicidal plotting that runs through House Of Gucci. Unfortunately, the most of the movie is spent on the tedious business aspects of the family firm.

I won’t Give too Much Away if you don’t Already Know the Backstory of Gucci.

I can’t reveal all of the plot twists, otherwise the movie will be ruined for you. But generally speaking, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) begins the film working for her family’s trucking company.

Despite her humble station in life, she seems satisfied; but, after meeting Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a party, everything changes. It doesn’t take long for the two to fall in love, and they eventually get married, much to the dismay of Maurizio’s father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), who disowns his son because he married a commoner.

She befriends Maurizio’s uncle Aldo (Al Pacino), a gregarious but dishonest guy, in an effort to win back the favour of Maurizio’s father. Next, she meets Paolo, Aldo’s son (Jared Leto), a dimwit who, despite his lack of aptitude, is determined to work his way up the Gucci fashion design ranks.

Because to Aldo’s influence, Maurizio and his father are able to make amends. Rodolfo’s untimely death marks the beginning of the end for the Gucci Empire. You’ll have to watch the film or, even better, do some research online (or read the book) to find out why, because the movie isn’t nearly as engaging as it should be given the gruesome events that occur later in the plot.

Part of the issue is that Scott often skips ahead in the story, leaving us with only a superficial understanding of the individuals and their goals. The acting does a good job of making up for the plot holes, however some of the performers are better than others at keeping their Italian accents authentic.

Although Jared Leto has taken a lot of flak for his performance, I didn’t find it to be all that horrible. One of the film’s strong points is his performance as the Gucci family’s outcast Paolo. As the movie might get tedious at times, his comedic interjections are welcome breaks. Even though Driver is consistently great as usual, despite his underwritten part, more time spent with him would have been welcome instead of the really uninteresting Maurizio.

Last Words

House of Gucci isn’t as terrible as some of Scott’s other “poor” films; with this cast, how could it be? However, it suffers from the tired trope of being all style and little substance, with less intense action than you might anticipate given the lengthy running time. With Ridley Scott at the helm, you can expect a high-quality film. But instead of the tedious family drama it turns out to be, this could have been terrific, campy fun.