House of Gucci was one of the films I was most excited about seeing this year. Lady Gaga is one of my favourite performers of all time, both musically and in front of the camera after that stunning turn in A Star Is Born, so I shocked myself in being able to hold off on watching the film until it made its way to home release.
Seeing her take on the role of Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani felt like watching her move into a realm of acting that she was born for. She is utterly brilliant from start to finish, as we watch a woman go from rags to riches, then ultimately to chaos and destruction.
One of my favourite aspects of the film and Patrizia’s journey, was watching her hair. Stay with me; it’s less creepy than it sounds. When the film opens up, Patrizia makes sure to keep her hair styled yet neat; eye-catching for all of the right reasons. As the movie progresses however, and Patrizia’s frame of mind begins to fracture and decay, that is reflected in her ‘do. It’s a subtle act, but an incredibly smart move.
Unfortunately, that intelligence ends whenever Jared Leto appears on screen. As Paolo Gucci, he is a caricature. We all know goofy and eccentric people, but Leto’s portrayal of Paolo is one that will stick with you for all the wrong reasons. Any work the rest of the cast does in ensuring you are fully enveloped in the realism of the piece, however outlandish, is dashed by Leto’s overacting. Paolo just isn’t a believable character in the grand scheme of things; an opinion echoed by the real-life Tom Ford, who said he met the designer on a handful of occasions and confirmed that the real Paolo, while a little out there, was nothing like Leto’s take.
It’s a shame, because there is an interesting story to be told here. I never knew, for example, that not a single member of the Gucci family has anything to do with the company in today’s world. Exactly how they got to that point is explored with detail and precision in director Ridley Scott’s film, and he remains a skilled filmmaker; it just feels like all that hard work is dashed by Leto’s performance.
There could also be a good 45 minutes shaved off of the film’s runtime, because as it stands, it feels a little bloated. I’m not usually one to complain about a long movie, but only if they can prove they’re worth the commitment. House of Gucci, unfortunately, never really does that.
With such talents as Al Pacino and Adam Driver working alongside Gaga, all the ingredients are there for a magical recipe; which is why it’s even more disappointing to see everything all fall a little flat.
EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES ON DVD & BLU-RAY™:
- The Rise of the House of Gucci – Go behind the scenes to discover how Ridley Scott’s vision of this astonishing story fell into place.
- The Lady of the House – An up-close look at Lady Gaga’s performance as Patrizia Reggiani and how her powerhouse charisma and unwavering dedication breathe life into this complex character.
- Styling House of Gucci – A deep dive into the visual delights of the film, from aesthetics to attitude.
House of Gucci is available now on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD.