By Ethan Lauren
“House of Gucci” is a sterile mausoleum, with walls of whitewash, imposing columns, yet contains indeed a few touches of warmth. It is directed by Hollywood mainstay, Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Thelma and Louise,” and many, many more movies).
Loosely based upon the story of the Gucci family from the 1970s through the 1990s, the story revolves around Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver, and his marriage to Patrizia Reggiani, played by Lady Gaga. Both are great, though it takes a little while to click with the fact that almost everybody in this film is not Italian yet speaking English with varying degrees of poor Italian accents.
Two standout performances are Jared Leto and Al Pacino, wonderfully charming together, their characters provide much of the film’s humor. Leto is mesmerizing with an unrecognizable physique, although apart from an easy Oscar nomination, it did feel frivolous.
Despite not being invested in the story, I could have watched this dysfunctional Gucci family bumble about for many more hours. Ultimately, the scenes flow along as you’d expect them to, culminating in an end that relies too much on sentiment. For two and a half hours, the film is too comedic for a traditional true-crime feature, yet too serious at points for its own good.
I found it hard to care for the lives of the ultra-wealthy featured in “House of Gucci.” A lot of the fun in films like these, such as “The Great Gatsby,” is either wish-fulfillment or a look into a world most will never experience. Jay Gatsby is compelling because his only desire, despite all his wealth, is unobtainable to him. So, who cares if the Gucci family, worth millions, wants more millions?
Gaga’s character, who marries into wealth, is never properly given time to showcase that she came into this lifestyle, which seems an oversight for it can be fun to see a ‘nobody’ trying to be a ‘somebody.’ Her character quickly loses agency and pitters around with no real drive other than what the plot demands of the character come the climax.
This film stands for nothing, speaks to nobody, and I see no point in watching except to see really, really, ridiculously good-looking people wear clothes I’ll never get the opportunity to. After leaving the theater, I was tempted to pick up a bootleg Gucci belt just to spite capitalism. Watch for Driver’s delicious smile—and stay for Leto’s disgusting, balding scalp.