When a film takes every chance at extravagance, the chance of falling is equal or greater to the chance of flying. House of Gucci takes this gamble, and while it might not pay off entirely, the big-budget melodrama proves the perfect showcase for lush worldbuilding and powerhouse actors. 

While Driver’s Maurizio Gucci proves the surprising emotional heart of the film, Gaga’s Patrizia Reggiani is its fire. No one in this film walks slowly, but Gaga’s tiny frame moves like a hurricane in high heels, marking Patrizia’s relentless social and romantic ambitions even before she admits them to herself. But not even she can compete with a scene-stealing Hayek, while Leto’s failson grates and Irons’ patriarch proves surprisingly (and appropriately) subdued. 

The performances are barely hampered by the uneven pacing, but were they not so big and bold the cracks in this stuffed script would burst. One wonders if Scott gave any direction during takes or cut any scenes post-filming. The showpiece show-downs between all members of the Gucci clan are indulgent, luxurious affairs, with everyone getting ample time for sighs, dramatic pauses, and last looks through the door. 

Scott and team’s needle drops confound expectations; moving from the La Traviata ‘brindisi’ to George Michael’s ‘Faith’ over two indelible romantic scenes is audacious and utterly glorious (that said, there was no need to re-use the same operatic excerpts in thematically inappropriate contexts when there is so much opera that would have fit like a glove). The magnificent costumes by Janty Yates mark each combative character with their own battle armour, bringing decades of high fashion and changing loyalties to life.

House of Gucci is bloated, unwieldy, and almost better for it. A daring drama that demands a big screen, a comfy chair, and full volume, its highs swallow the muddled lows. 



CAST: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott 

WRITERS: Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna

SYNOPSIS: The real, larger-than-life tale of Patrizia Reggiani’s marriage to Maurizio Gucci, which led to his murder.