House of Gucci Review

Insulting and painful the Gucci family may find House of Gucci, the Ridley Scott-directed feature is bound to take the awards season by storm. It is the necessity of impression. Adam Driver and Lady Gaga front an ensemble assault on the warring factions of the Gucci household with derivative performances, sloppy Italian accents and just enough hold on the prime facts to make for an engaging, horribly stretched rendition of Maurizio Gucci’s rise and death. Driver embodies the murdered Gucci owner, but it is Ridley Scott who fails to adapt the horror show as anything more than a generic drama with lighter tones spread throughout. A balancing act of miserable proportions.

For every great talent included, only a few will stick out as great. Jeremy Irons is side-lined and forgotten about in the first act, Jared Leto piles on the weight and dresses with eccentricity to no avail, and Al Pacino tries to uncover his The Godfather roots once more with an Italian-American performance closer to parody than perfection. These are all the weak cogs spinning alongside a formidable double team of Driver and Gaga. Their performances are not fantastic, but they are ahead of the rest as they swoon their way through America and the fashion business. House of Gucci often feels reminiscent of Halston, the Ewan McGregor-led Netflix original miniseries. But where the Roy Frowick biopic series had heart and conflict, the Gucci family drama can only recall tabloid troubles.

Scott never gets to the heart of these issues. He shows warring factions but never proclaims it as his big event. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. When the cast is stacked this high, it is hard to see a way for House of Gucci to move forward without letting someone down. Underwhelming performances are one problem, but the flatlining direction is a surprising upset. Scott does little to bring the grandiose style or gusto of Gucci to life. It is a primitive and derivative deep dive into the fashion brand, but at least it is an entertaining one. Impossible it may be to truly fail when adapting the Gucci name to the big screen, the cards are stacked rather highly. Far too high for this cast. A surprise, considering how great they are elsewhere, and how much experience they have between them all. Experience does not matter when adapting something so controversial, though. A hot topic will always singe the hands that adapt them.

Oddly charmless at times, and it will be a while longer before creativity severs itself from the claws of genericism. Biopics have been lost there for some time, and House of Gucci shows nothing of its colourful creativity when it matters most of all. It is all well and good replicating the iconography of a period, but when the passion behind it is either unnoticeable or inflicted upon an audience as a point to prove rather than as something delicate and actively chosen to include, it becomes an annoyance. Scott does not get the balance right with House of Gucci, a scenery-chewing feature at times that relies more on the failures of a family than it does on the success that tore them apart.

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