Review: ‘House of Gucci’ Dazzles with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver’s Chemistry and Charisma

If you saw the trailers for Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, then you were likely anticipating a deliciously camp-filled film. While House of Gucci is certainly not Karlie Kloss misunderstanding the meaning of camp at the 2019 Met Gala, it is lacking, quite woefully, in the camp department. There is a sprinkling here and there for a little pizzazz, many audiences may be disappointed with the somewhat somber tone the latter half of the film takes on.

Aspects of House of Gucci are utterly sumptuous. The wardrobe, accessories, make-up, shoes, handbags, cars, and locations absolutely make this film what it is. Ridley Scott’s keen eye for scene composition comes through, creating visual feasts for the eyes.

House of Gucci Dazzles with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver's Chemistry and Charisma

Lady Gaga is stunning as Patrizia Reggiani. From conveying the youthful innocence of the first time they meet, to the hopeless insanity she descends into at the end. As someone who merely enjoyed her performance in A Star is Born, I was thrilled to see how much I loved her in this. She made this role her own, and she fully commanded every scene that she was in. I will be shocked if she isn’t on the Best Actress nomination list this year.

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Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani |© 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Adam Driver. Where do I even begin? I don’t believe I have ever seen him smile this many times in a movie. Which makes the shift in his relationship with Patrizia, towards the end of the film, that much more devastating, because he fully sells the absolute indifference he comes to feel. Not love, not hate, just nothing. I know next to nothing about Maurizio Gucci, but from the pictures I’ve seen of the real-life man—Adam Driver nails it.

It brings me no joy to admit that I enjoyed Jared Leto’s performance as Paolo Gucci. He went above and beyond to create this overly exuberant character that you hate, but also pity. I deeply dislike that they put him in a fat suit and make-up, rather than hiring an actor who matched the body type, but I can see why Scott hired him. He had fantastic chemistry with Al Pacino’s Aldo Gucci and I fully bought into their father-son dynamic.

HOUSE of GUCCI
(L-R): Adam Driver stars as Maurizio Gucci, Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. and Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani | © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Salma Hayek was another scene-stealer with her role as Pina Auriemma. Having just seen her potential utterly wasted on Eternals a few weeks ago, I loved seeing her get to have some really good scene work to play with. I would kill for a cinematic universe of Lady Gaga and Salma Hayek as black widows finding themselves rich husbands.

While, yes, the accents were somewhat comical and often wildly inconsistent from scene to scene, it’s easy enough to overlook, because the performances are brilliant. While the script is nothing truly remarkable, it is filled with snide comments and dry, dark humor which perfectly suited my tastes. House of Gucci is surprisingly funny if you listen closely and look for the subtle connections.

Speaking of connections, there’s a really clever use of color throughout the film. One use, that I haven’t seen mentioned yet, is how red and green were supposed to be Patrizia’s key guiding colors and, when her marriage with Maurizio has reached its end, the colors come into play over Christmas in a really clever way.

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Adam Driver stars as Maurizio Gucci and Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani | © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

House of Gucci does have weak points, most of which manifest at the junction of two completely different plots that fight for dominance throughout the film. The main plot is something of an Italian soap opera. A middle-class woman marries into a wealthy family, shoehorns her way into the family business, and ultimately causes the family to tear itself apart. The other plot, though an extension of the central plot, is a somewhat wandering story about a woman being the architect of her own downfall. While these plots go hand-in-hand, they often struggle to move in a linear direction with each other.

With any other cast, House of Gucci would have been a subpar movie, floundering through the ripped-from-the-headlines intrigue of a murder-for-hire, but with this cast, Ridley Scott has created a wickedly fun romp. Lady Gaga shines, taking audiences along with her into this very dark, unrepentant place with Hayek, while Driver, Leto, and Pacino parse out the superfluousness of their family drama.

House of Gucci

8

Lady Gaga shines, taking audiences along with her into this very dark, unrepentant place with Hayek, while Driver, Leto, and Pacino parse out the superfluousness of their family drama. 

8.0/10
Managing Editor of Entertainment at Your Money Geek | Website | + posts

Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Entertainment at Your Money Geek, where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and a contributor at Collider and Dorkside of the Force.

When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild.