“House of Gucci”: A legacy not worth killing for
House of Gucci tells the dramatic true story of the (in)famous Gucci family and the events that triggered the murder of the heir to the Gucci label. Based on the novel The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden and directed by Ridley Scott, the film opened in theatres on Nov. 24 in Canada. The initial lavish premier took place on Nov. 9 in London.
The role of Patrizia Reggiani is played in an unremarkable fashion by Lady Gaga. As anyone who has been following this film over a long period of time will know, Gaga getting cast in this role caused a lot of excitement within the film community. After all, Gaga was awarded for her starring role in A Star is Born. However, Gaga does not deserve accolades for her performance in this film.
While Gaga is far from being offensively bad in the role of Reggiani and it is clear she did her research in order to portray her role well, she is still unimpressive. Overall, Gaga feels bland and a non-entity within the film. This is a remarkable feat, considering the film’s focus on the slow disintegration of Reggiani’s marriage to Maurizio Gucci — played with restrained calm by Adam Driver.
Driver’s depiction of Maurizio is a good compliment to Gaga’s more dramatic performance of Reggiani. While some reviews have called Driver’s performance “boring” or “uninspiring,” he is a necessary contrast and presence to have due to the rest of the central characters leaning more “camp” trope. His chemistry with Gaga is so-so, but not as electric as his chemistry with Marion Cotillard in Annette.
The rest of the cast of House of Gucci is … fine. Again, there is little to say due to the film’s bloated runtime. Running over two hours and 30 minutes, even the most devout Gaga (or Driver) fan will feel their eyes beginning to glaze over. Al Pacino is as brilliant as ever in his role as Aldo Gucci, Jeremy Irons is commanding in his role as Rodolfo Gucci and Jared Leto is predictably annoying in his role as Paolo Gucci.
Yes, “predictably annoying.” Why was Leto cast in this role? Who knows. It is unlikely that anyone who has sat through this film will be able to answer this question after leaving the theatre.
House of Gucci achieves the impossible by being a film with two genres within it — something that is far from a compliment. In the beginning, it is a campy and fun romp. By the end, it has switched completely in an attempt to become a gripping drama. Of course, this massive shift does not work in the film’s favor.
Not even the fashion present in the film can save it — for a film centered on the family of a major fashion label, the wardrobe is boring and no pieces stand out.
Overall, the biggest question surrounding House of Gucci is this: Who is this film for? The press and trailers surrounding the film have been incredibly misleading – if you are going into House of Gucci expecting a fun and slightly campy romp with a dash of murder, you will be greatly disappointed.
“A legacy worth killing for”, House of Gucci bravely proclaims in its tagline. Will audiences be “killing” to see this “legacy” more than once in the theatre? Most definitely not. No amount of star power can save a ho-hum film — even if the world is “Gaga” for Gaga.