This miscast Gucci biopic doesn’t have much fashion sense.
Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” tells the story of how Patrizia Reggiani left her humble beginnings to live the high life of the Gucci fashion industry, and hired a hitman to murder her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci. Unfortunately, it’s a disappointment with Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons, and Jared Leto being miscast in various ways, while Al Pacino is the only convincing actor in his role. It’s an offensive caricature of not only Italian people or of Italian descent, but I’m also told it’s an insult toward Reggiani and the remaining Gucci family.
Now, Lady Gaga gave one of the best performances in Bradley Cooper’s vision of “A Star is Born,” but in the role of Patricia, she sounds more Russian than Italian. The movie also runs for 2 hours and 38 minutes, but you don’t get anything out of her. You don’t get her full story, and it all seems cut-and-paste with the screenplay being pulverized by Becky Johnson and Roberto Bentivegna.
The movie opens in Milan, 1978. We meet Patrizia as a receptionist for her stepfather’s transportation business, who heads over to a night club and falls for Maurizio (Driver), who is planning to become a lawyer. She then meets his father Rodolfo (Irons), a former actor, who suspects the young lady might be after his money. In fact, he threatens to cut him off if he marries her. But that doesn’t stop Maurizio.
Their marriage makes the magazine covers, and wins the interests of his uncle Aldo (Pacino), the son of the genius behind Gucci. He even takes a liking to the girl up to the point of helping them reach the high Gucci life in New York. The more exposed Patrizia to the House of Gucci, the more spoiled she gets towards her husband, whom she makes turn against his own family. Eventually, he dumps her, which sets her in a murderous rage.
Among the supporting cast, Leto plays Maurizio’s uncle and Aldo’s son Paolo, who starts his own Gucci business and is forced by Patrizia to sell his shares; Salma Hayek plays the psychic Giuseppina Auriemma, who inspires Patrizia to take on the Gucci world; Jack Huston is the family lawyer Domenico Del Sole; Reeve Carney plays the fashion designer Tom Ford; and Camille Cottin (“Stillwater”) plays Paola Franchi, Maurizio’s childhood friend-turned-lover.
And out of all of them, Leto gives a razzie-caliber performance. Look at him! He looks like an Italian clown, who forgot to put his makeup on, and has a hairstyle like Danny DeVito in “Batman Returns.” Even the way he talks is so embarrassing. This is a train wreck of a performance for him.
Every scene with Pacino is well-acted, because as an Italian-American, he really knows how to portray Aldo Gucci convincingly. In a way, his moments seem like a throwback to his performance in “The Godfather” movies, and even “The Irishman,” but those movies were more deeply examined. “House of Gucci” loves the fashion world, but I’m going to have to assume they brought Gaga, Driver, Irons, and Jeto as a way to attract movie-goers.
“The Last Duel,” Scott’s last movie with Driver, was a box office bomb, but it still resonated with the #MeToo era, and had performances worthy admiring and an attitude all its own. “House of Gucci” has too much attitude, and even if it runs long, it just skims along the story.