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Review: House of Gucci ★★★★☆

4 mins read

According to Variety, House of Gucci is one of the most anticipated films of 2021. For whoever has been excitedly awaiting the premiere, I am glad to declare it was worth the wait.

Although, I must be honest, during the first half an hour of the film I yawned about seven times, convinced the only good thing about this motion picture would be the spectacular performance of the cast. I was happy to be proven wrong.

Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci is an entertaining and aesthetically pleasing cinematic event with only a few flaws, carried by Lady Gaga’s incredible performance and the Gucci family drama, which truly makes you glad you brought popcorn. It tells the story of a series of events leading to Patrizia Reggiani planning an assassination of her husband – Maurizio Gucci.

The intrigue and drama give the movie the mood of your weekly family dinner, the only difference being additional assassination plots, snotty rich people and Gucci belts around everybody’s waists. House of Gucci is a story about manipulation, toxic relationships and the literal opposite of character development. So, really, just like watching your aunt’s birthday party unfold.

Your aunt’s party might, unfortunately for everyone involved, be a little longer than a movie, but could equal this picture’s runtime which is 158 minutes. Seriously, who wants to sit on their bottom in an uncomfortable seat for that long? Avengers: Endgame (dir. Russo brothers, 2019) was over three hours, but somehow managed to keep the audience’s attention. Marvel fanboys still probably wish it was longer. Alas House of Gucci is, completely honestly, too long. It is slow-paced enough to exhaust the viewer, but luckily not boring enough to tempt you to look at your watch.

I feel obligated to mention that even with an overly lengthy runtime, some historical details were ignored. For instance, the whole existence of Allegra Gucci – Patrizia and Maurizio Gucci’s (Adam Driver) younger daughter. Still, the film is based on a book by Sara Gay Forden, which was in turn inspired by this true story. It is not a documentary, and it would be unwise to see it as such.

However, the true asset of the film remains its all-star cast who did a remarkable job carrying House of Gucci on their shoulders. The MVP would be, hands down, Lady Gaga’s portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani, which is certainly a candidate for an Academy Award. Gaga presents an image of a money and power-hungry young woman whose only skills are emotional manipulation and forging signatures. A stellar example of a “gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss”, if you will.

Lady Gaga as Patricia Reggiani in House of Gucci (2021).
Credit: MGM Studios

Jared Leto’s Paolo Gucci might be described somewhat as a comic relief, which sounds completely ridiculous in a film based on a true story. Leto absolutely stole every single scene he appeared in, drawing the audience’s attention to his character portrayed as laughable, farcical and, as described by Al Pacino’s Aldo Gucci, utterly “useless”. Paolo’s misery and foolishness were the viewer’s laughing stock, however cruel it sounds.

All in all, House of Gucci is a good film, but I’ve seen better. The four out of five score is only an accomplishment of the incredible cast. All hail Mother Monster.

Featured Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

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she/they
Film, media & journalism student

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