2021 has been a busy year for the acclaimed English director Ridley Scott (Alien; Blade Runner). On the heels of the medieval conspiracies and the fierce battles of The Last Duel, he makes a u-turn into the fashion world with House of Gucci, a biographical portrayal of the Gucci family, starring Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Jared Leto. Despite the marvelous cast, a likable male central character and the elegant outfits, there’s something wrong in the cinematic design of House of Gucci, whose script, adapted from the 2000 book by Sara Gay Forden by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna, is partially accountable for the infrequent pleasures and major disappointments found. After a promising start, the narrative flow becomes crippled by pace and inarticulation.
Gucci is a brand recognized and admired around the world, and Maurizio (Driver), a demure yet distinctively smart member of this Italian family, happens to be humbler than his actor father, Rodolfo (Irons), more discreet than his cunning and domineering uncle Aldo (Pacino) and more empathetic than the latter’s silly son, Paolo (an unrecognizable Leto). The story begins with the romance and consequent marriage between Maurizio and Patrizia Reggiani (Gaga), a woman from a lower class whose inordinate ambition becomes an obstacle in her marriage.
Rarely as playful or fluid as it hopes, the film declines instead with pacing fluctuations in its middle section – when it mostly relies on Paolo’s idiocy and excessive Italian-accented speech to amuse – and an unemotional conclusion that definitely fails to elevate the account into something satisfying. Scott is heedless in his leadership, seeming unable to point out the best direction to the members of the cast, from which only Driver and Pacino stand out. House of Gucci is unlikely to gain any traction, even among those interested in the story of the family.
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto
Runtime: 100 minutes