House of Gucci (2022) Review
THE strive for success is a long, arduous road littered with numerous obstacles and tragedies only rivalled by the necessary payments willing to be made. Perhaps no success is more controversial than the rise of the Gucci family, whose polemical achievements created a scandal which lasted over 20 years and became the subject of director Ridley Scott's latest feature, House of Gucci, a disproportionate biography which, ironically, fails to capture the rich lifestyle of the Italian empire.
When working-class woman, Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), marries her way into the fashion empire of Gucci through Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), her desire for wealth and fame becomes an obsession as she soon spirals into an unhealthy cycle, damaging her relationship and discrediting the Gucci's family name in the eyes of the public.
This isn't Ridley Scott's first film to release in the last 12 months; Scott also released The Last Duel, a critically-acclaimed, medieval epic which failed to impress at the box office, financially bombing and leading Scott to ridicule the public for not seeing his self-proclaimed masterpiece. Despite The Last Duel apparently being a modern masterpiece, the same cannot be said for House of Gucci as while it's not a failure by any means, this biography failed to capture my attention for majority of its overstretched runtime.
House of Gucci starts off with so much promise, kicking off an enthralling story with charm and personality suited for the time period. But much of this atmosphere is soon sucked out of the film after the first act due to poor pacing as a result of attempting too stuff to much information into a limited movie, which doesn't even make sense as the film goes for 2 hours and 40 minutes which is more than enough time to tell a comprehensible story, but director Scott bounces from scene to scene without giving them enough time to breathe and settle in, leading to a disconnected, monotone storyline which could've left out alot of unnecessary plot elements in order to focus on the moments that truly matter.
Now a film like this sounds awful, and for the most part, it is. But what saves House of Gucci from being a complete failure is that majority of the acting is phenomenal. Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Al Pacino are the three standouts in the movie, bringing sophistication and laughs to an otherwise bleak non-fictional story. Gaga and Pacino in particular are the best actors in House of Gucci, fully-deserving any nominations they receive for what is a passable bio-pic. However, one actor who I believe didn't do a great job was Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. Leto's portrayal of an Italian goof was amusing for the first half, but when you have to put up with this kind of character for nearly 3 hours, his comically-fake Italian accent became insufferable and dragged down any scene involving him.
Aside from good acting, House of Gucci also featured a hefty amount of licensed music. Licensed music can be a controversial inclusion to any film as many believe it is only included to drive up song sales and often has nothing to do with the corresponding scene. Thankfully, the music included alongside these scenes all make sense for the time period, with songs such as I'm A Believer blending in well with the lower class lifestyle Maurizio dives into towards the start of his relationship, showing his commitment to wanting to be with Patrizia - plus being an Italian version of the song always helps as well.
Ridley Scott's House of Gucci isn't a bad movie by any means. However, the film does suffer from over-staying its welcome and failing to capitalise on the movie's most important aspects, instead deciding to focus on the least important moments. Majority of the actors deliver wonderful performances and shine in their respective roles, but if your looking for a simple retelling of a tragic murder-mystery, House of Gucci is an easy skip only worth watching if you're looking to see actors do the very best in their craft.