Ridley Scott’s second film of 2021 dramatises the true story of Maurizio Gucci, his marriage to Patrizia Reggiani and move to head of the Gucci empire. Adam Driver plays Gucci, heir to the business but it’s a role he doesn’t covet and would rather pursue a career as a lawyer. At a party he meets Reggiani (Lady Gaga), attracted to both Gucci the person and Gucci the name. She is driven and sees the opportunity for them both to takeover thr business. Against his father’s (Jeremy Irons) wishes they marry and Reggiani begins to encourage Maurizio to take his place at the company and seeks the help of his uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) to encourage him and engineer his place at the top of the company. Once achieved however, things begin to unravel setting the family against each other with tragic consequences.
House of Gucci is certainly an experience, good and bad! Your enjoyment may depend on your enjoyment of the central characters, luckily they worked for me. Adam Driver is as good as ever as Gucci, fitting right into his Italian suit. Lady Gaga In her first role since A Star is Born is excellent again as the driven and fiery Reggiani. Alongside them Al Pacino feels very much at home as Aldo. While all of the main characters apply a level of “Italian” accent, restrained enough to not slip into parody. But then we have Jared Leto’s over the top Mario Bros.’esque performance as Paolo, which reduces this real life tragic character to no more than a clown.
It is Is Leto’s performance that encapsulates the films issues. Firstly the film is tonally all over the place. It flips between crime drama, love story, melodrama and comedy. And at almost 160 minutes it’s long and baggy and this is partly due to the lack of clarity in the type of film it wants to be. It tries to tell a lot of stories but never fully tells any of them.
But for its faults, its saving grace is its two central performances. Drivers measured presence is as watchable as ever and Lady Gaga, bristles and brings a fiery energy, even if it becomes a little melodramatic toward the end. But both extremely watchable and hold the film together.
The Gucci story is a fascinating one and not sure Ridley Scott’s film explores it well enough. But it is a wild ride, all over the place in reality, but enjoyable none the less mainly for its two central performances and partly for its madness. Making it always watchable and engaging.