It is a bit poetic that House of Gucci was released on Thanksgiving Weekend.
Like a big meal, House of Gucci will look appealing to many who may end up being surprised at the taste. It has parts that will be an acquired taste, while others will find it takes some time to digest.
A single look at the credits of the film will easily show it’s appeal. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring a at least two generations worth of enormous acting talent, the film is based on the true story of the Gucci family, who were one of the biggest names in fashion in the 20th century, and are still recognized today.
The film mainly centers on Patrizia (Lady Gaga), who clearly falls for Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). They get married, despite the objections of his father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), a former movie star. Rodolfo has since distanced himself from the film business as well as the design business. The same cannot be said for Rodolfo’s older brother Aldo (Al Pacino, who even at the age of 81, still shows he has a good amount of gas left in the tank), who has been the head of the business for decades. He soon takes both Maurizio and Patrizia under his wing (Patrizia is more enthused than her new husband is), despite overstepping his good hearted but less than qualified son Paolo (Jared Leto).
With names like the ones shown in the previous paragraph, you would expect the acting of the film to be nothing short of superior. In a sense, you would be right. The issue is that the acting is basically over the top and scene chewing (Pacino is one of the best of this type in the history of cinema). That does not always work in films, but it does here (for the most part). I am not an expert on accents, but it is still somewhat noticeable that most of the actors seem to be overdoing it (Driver is more subtle).
The actor clearly going all out is Leto, who gives arguably the most memorable performance (and not just because he is not recognizable under his make-up.) He is indeed simple minded, but he has such a heart that you almost want to hug his pitiful soul, even during times when he yells things like, “I WANT TO FLY…LIKE A PIGEON!!!”.
There was a role in the film that did indeed seem confusing and a surplus addition, the role of Pina (Salma Hayek). She is introduced as a TV personality (a tarot card reader, I believe) who Patrizia calls to see what her future holds. Eventually, Pina and Patrizia meet in person, but Pina only ever really interacts with Patrizia, making me wonder if she was just an avatar of sorts to have Patrizia talk to (none of the other characters interact with Pina.) By the end, we find out she actually was a real life person.
Parents, I would hope it would seem redundant for me to say that this movie is not for kids, but I did hear someone bring a kid to the screening I was at (I did not see them, but they sounded to be around 9-10 years of age). The movie is rated R, and for good reason. There is more than enough swearing, some sexual content (mainly in one scene), brief nudity, and a little bit of violence. High School and above only.
In the last few years, the term “Gucci” has been a type of slang word for kids to mean “good.” Therefore, in my efforts to stay “hip” with the young crowd, I will say House of Gucci is Gucci, but not great.