As I sat watching this film in theatre this past weekend, I never thought I’d want or need to write the THIRD review of it from #SpoilerFreeReviews. But after it ended and sitting with it for a day, my feelings on the film are so vastly different from what my colleagues Tarush and Eli felt I had to share. I encourage you to read their reviews and mine whether you’ve seen the film yet or not.
I found HOUSE OF GUCCI to be one of the biggest and best “must-see” films of the year. My harshest critique is that ALL of the accents are inconsistent and, at times, cartoonish. Pacino as Aldo Gucci probably has the steadiest of accents, with Lady Gaga’s being the worst. Lady Gaga is wonderful at times, but her accent is very often so bad it’s distracting from an otherwise decent performance. Her Italian accent comes and goes faster than a fashion model walking on and off the Gucci runway. A barely recognizable (due to heavy prosthetics) Jared Leto shines as the black sheep of the Gucci empire, Paolo. I have issues with Leto as a person, but he is incredibly talented and practically steals every scene he’s in here. The film belongs to Adam Driver though. He absolutely becomes Maurizio Gucci with such ease I forgot he was acting. Director Ridley Scott has put together this fantastic A-List cast, including Driver, but he doesn’t just seem to be acting… he embodies the role. I hate to use the word “effortlessly,” even though it feels like that as a viewer. It’s much more a testament talent, and hard work Driver put into this that deserves recognition.
I’m sure there will be comparisons of this film to the made-for-tv American Crime Story series, but HOUSE OF GUCCI stands head and shoulders above its true-crime counterparts. At the heart of this film is a love story. People fall in love with each other and with power. Whether you know how it’s going to end or not (I did know some of the background going in), it makes no difference. Scott and screenwriters Becky Johnson and Roberto Bentivegna show us pretty quickly who Patrizia is, but we’ll have to take the journey with Maurizio while he peels away the layers of his lover and social-climbing wife.
My only other critique is that I didn’t love the music choices for the film. I loved the songs (Bowie, Donna Summer, Blondie) but didn’t feel like they really fit the scenes they were chosen for. For example, a George Michael song from the late 80s plays during the early 70s marriage of Maurizio & Patrizia. I mean, sure, maybe “Faith” is right on the nose for a couple about to embark on what they hoped was a forever journey? I guess…?!?
Between this and THE LAST DUEL, it’s been a hell of a year for Ridley Scott. Sadly I haven’t seen TLD yet so, for now, I’ll put HOUSE OF GUCCI onto my “Best of 2021” list. HOUSE OF GUCCI is currently playing in theatres exclusively.